RSF: 20 journalists abducted in Yemen since 2015

RSF: 20 journalists abducted in Yemen since 2015

Alsahwa Net - Reporters without Borders known with its French acronym RSF , an international organization that defends press freedom worldwide said this week that 20 journalists have been abducted in Yemen since the war started early 2015.

“At least 20 journalists have been the victims of enforced disappearance in Yemen since the start of the civil war in 2015, according to a tally by Reporters Without Borders (RSF),” the organization said in statement published on its website.

Two journalists of the total 20 victims were abducted by armed men in the past few weeks, according to the RSF.

It said that most of 20 journalists were kidnapped by either pro-government forces or non-government militias.

It added that victims’ families often know nothing about locations of abducted reporters or “what has happened to them.”

The report by the RSF quoted its Middle East Desk saying, “Yemeni journalists are almost systematically targeted by armed forces, regardless of where they are located, and must often defend what they have written.”

“By treating journalists in this way, both the Houthis and the Arab coalition’s allied forces violate journalists’ right to protection.”

The RSF highlighted the story of Eyad Saleh, editor of  Mareb Today news website who happened to be the latest victim of abduction against reporters in Yemen.

Saleh was taken from his apartment in the southern city of Aden to an unknown location on 6 August by gunmen, who also searched his apartment, according to the RSF.

 Abdul Hafiz Al-Samadi, former reporter of Akhbar Al-Youm was also one of the recent victims who was highlighted in the RSF report.

A group of armed men kidnapped Al-Samadi as he was heading to a grocery store in the Al-Jarda district of the capital, Sanaa, on 27 July.

“The family heard nothing for three days, until he managed to call them briefly from a strange number on 30 July,” the report read.

“The only thing we know is that he is imprisoned and is being interrogated,” his brother Moaz said. During the call, Samadi asked them to hand over his laptop to the militiamen for the information it contains, or else “they will arrest you all.”

Samadi had contributed to several articles critical of the Houthis. He had stopped working as a journalist since the start of the war in 2015.

“Many other journalists have stopped reporting for fear of being persecuted because of their press work, but this has not prevented militiamen from tracking them down subsequently because of what they wrote,” the report said. 

They 20 abducted journalists that the RSF report highlighted include ten journalists who were taken hostage by the Houthis in Sanaa in 2015 and who are facing possible death sentences, according to the RSF.

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