Media Freedom Coalition’s Executive Group statement concerning media freedom in Yemen
The undersigned members of the Media Freedom Coalition’s Executive Group express their growing concern about the Houthis’ attacks on media freedom in Yemen, where their continued detention of Yemeni journalists is troubling evidence of serious abuses of the right to freedom of expression.
In particular, we condemn the Houthis’ decision to put four Yemeni journalists to death for their reporting, an alarming situation that constitutes a blatant disregard for human rights. Attacks on media freedom are attacks on human rights, and the protection of journalists and other media workers is critical to the success of any peacebuilding efforts undertaken in Yemen.
We call on all parties to guarantee the safety of journalists and to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, so that they can carry out their work without fear of detention, reprisals or restrictions inconsistent with the right to freedom of expression.
We also call on the Houthis to:
- immediately disavow their decision to put to death the journalists Abdulkhaleq Ahmed Amran, Akram Saleh Al-Walidi, Al-Hareth Saleh Hamid and Tawfiq Mohammed Al-Mansouri and release them
- Immediately release journalists Hisham Ahmed Tarmoom, Hisham Abdulmalik Al-Yousefi, Haitham Abdulrahman Al-Shihab, Essam Amin Balgheeth, and Hassan Abdullah Annab
- immediately free all other detained Yemeni journalists and disavow any intention to punish or harm them, and account for those journalists who are missing
- Refrain from undermining the exercise of the right to freedom of expression by all Yemeni journalists and media workers in the pursuit of their essential work—without being subjected to further punishment
Canada, Germany, Latvia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States of America