Journalist sentenced to death in a trial marred by a non-transparent judicial process


Freedom of expression is still under serious threat in Yemen. The Mwatana Organisation for Human Rights released a report on 3rd May 2017, World Press Freedom Day, that documented cases of 17 journalists being kept in inhumane conditions in Yemen's prisons. The organisation warned in its report that:

“the continuation of systematically violent and repressive practices against journalists and their institutions and means would lead to the extinction of the profession of journalism and the elimination of the remaining margin of freedom of expression that existed in Yemen before the war”.  

The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) reported that on 12 April 2017, journalist Yahya Al-Jubaihi was sentenced to death by a state security court in Sanaa, which is controlled by the Houthis. According to the state-run Saba News Agency, Al-Jubaihi was convicted of spying for Saudi Arabia and of passing information to Saudi diplomats that "posed harm to Yemen's army, political position and economy". In addition, the New Arab reported that the judicial process over Al-Jubaihi's death sentence was not transparent, having taken place in a closed-door courtroom usually used by the Houthis for trying Al-Qaeda militants.

As reported on the Monitor, human rights organisations have called for an independent investigation into the death of journalist Mohammed Al-Abbsi after results of an autopsy suggested he was poisoned in December 2016. However, the petition has thus far fallen on deaf ears.

Peaceful Assembly

On 4th May 2017, thousands of demonstrators gathered in Aden in support of former governor Aydarus Al-Zubaydi who had been dismissed by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi on 27th April 2017 after falling out of favour over allegiances in the ongoing civil war.