Journalist Adeeb Al-Janani hit by shrapnel and killed while on duty; Journalist Tawfiq Mohammed Al-Mansouri, who is appealing a death sentence handed down in April 2020, is suffering a serious deterioration of his health in prison in Sana’a; journalist Mohammed Ali Al-Maqri released from the Political Security prison in Ma’rib.
#Yemen 🇾🇪 @BelqeesRights correspondent, Adeeb Al-Janani, was killed while reporting the arrival of Yemen's newly formed Cabinet at Aden Airport. We send our condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. Authorities must take action to #EndImpunity. https://t.co/prwiRGzGXu— IFJ (@IFJGlobal) January 5, 2021
On 30th December 2020, journalist Adeeb Al-Janani was hit by shrapnel and killed as he covered the arrival of the new Yemeni government at Aden International Airport. Al-Janani died after three mortar shells targeted the terminal minutes after the arrival of the plane carrying members of the new government, injuring ten others, including Yemen Satellite Channel correspondent Sadiq Al-Ratibi. Following his funeral on 2nd January 2021, a number of Al-Janani’s journalist colleagues led a protest condemning the ongoing violations against journalists and the media in Yemen.
Separately, GCHR has received worrying reports that journalist Tawfiq Mohammed Al-Mansouri, who is appealing a death sentence handed down in April 2020, is suffering a serious deterioration of his health in prison in Sana’a. According to reliable sources, the administration of the Security and Intelligence Prison, where he is imprisoned, continues to deny him the necessary medical treatment and appropriate medicines for the various diseases he is suffering from. Human rights lawyer Abdulmajeed Sabra has called on the Public Prosecutor in Sana’a to "assume its legal responsibility," adding, "The authority in place in Sana'a and the Security and Intelligence Service must provide full health care to detainee Tawfiq Al-Mansouri and release him immediately." The withholding of urgent medical treatment from Al-Mansouri by the de facto Houthi authorities was also condemned by Amnesty International as an “act of cruelty that violates the prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment.” Human Rights Watch has also reported on the arbitrary detention and sentencing to death of Al-Mansouri and three other Yemeni journalists, Abdul-Khaleq Amran, Akram al-Walidi and Hareth Humaid, commenting that in Yemen, “journalism can be a capital offence.”
As previously reported on the Monitor, the four journalists, who worked for various local media outlets, have been arbitrarily detained since 2015 by the Houthi authorities, apparently for reporting on abuses by the Houthis as the armed group took over the capital, Sana’a, and much of western Yemen in September 2014. In April 2020, all four journalists were sentenced to death by the Houthi-controlled Specialised Criminal Court in Sana’a on politically motivated charges of treason, spreading false news and spying for foreign states. The defence team continues to work on preparing their appeal, which the Public Prosecution is now handling, before submitting it to the Specialised Criminal Court's Appeals Chamber. The four journalists have been subjected to ill-treatment in the Security and Intelligence Prison and denied regular visits or contact with their families.
Update: #Yemen: On October 19, 2020, journalist Mohammed Ali Al-Maqri was released from the Political Security prison in Ma’rib, & his first question was about the condition of his sick wife, as he was not informed that she died during his imprisonment.— GC4HR (@GulfCentre4HR) October 21, 2020
In other developments, on 19th October 2020, journalist Mohammed Ali Al-Maqri was released from the Political Security prison in Ma’rib. Al-Maqri was kidnapped in March 2019 while he was leaving his home in the Ma’rib governorate where he sought refuge from Houthi persecution. According to GCHR, he was tortured during his imprisonment and was not informed of the death of his wife while he was in prison.
Yemeni citizens, political parties, organisations and trade unions have a right to the freedom of peaceful assembly if they notify the authorities 72 hours in advance.
Yemeni citizens, political parties, organisations and trade unions have a right to the freedom of peaceful assembly if they notify the authorities 72 hours in advance. Despite such a lengthy notification period being in contravention of international best practice, traditionally the people of Yemen have been able to exercise their right to peacefully assembly. However, this ability to protest has been largely wiped out. On 24th March, 2015 Houthi rebels opened fired on a protest in South Yemen killing 6 people and wounding dozens. Protesters fear arrest, violence and retaliation for mobilising, drawing international condemnation over the dire situation for their rights. However, even in this repressive context some protests are allowed to take place. In March 2016, tens of thousands of Yemenis gathered in Sana’a to show their opposition to the Saudi led bombing campaigns.
Despite constitutional guarantees for freedom of expression, journalists in Yemen face extraordinary risks.
Despite constitutional guarantees for freedom of expression, journalists in Yemen face extraordinary risks. After the 2011 revolution the number of print and electronic media increased, but these gains were short lived. The breakdown of security, political crisis and open conflict mean that independent reporters are regularly subjected to censorship, threats and violence. At least 13 journalists have been killed in Yemen since 1992. In practice, state and non-state actors control the airwaves. Arbitrary detention and abduction of critical journalists is rife meaning that self-censorship is imperative to ensure survival. Furthermore, internet freedom is increasingly controlled by the authorities, depriving freedom of expression on the net. All of these factors combine to make Yemen one of the worst performing countries for media freedom in the world.