IPI condemns death sentence against Yemeni journalists

IPI condemns death sentence against Yemeni journalists

Alsahwa Net- The International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of media professionals and leading journalists for press freedom, condemned this week a death sentence ruled by a Houthis-court in Sana’a against four Yemeni journalists.

It called on the rebels to overturn the sentence and drop all the charges immediately.

In a statement posted on its website, “the IPI has urged the U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to intervene in the case.

It said that it sent a letter on the issue to Griffiths.

 “Sentencing journalists to death for doing their work is an abhorrent and unacceptable act that should be condemned by the United Nations,” the IPI said.

“The court decision in Yemen is a gross violation of the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and we fear that if no action is taken immediately to bring pressure on Houthi rebels, such sentences would become common in conflict-ridden countries”, IPI Director of Advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said in the letter.

It indicated that “information gathered by IPI, Abdel-khaleq Omran, Harith Salih Hamid, Akram al-Walidi and Tawfiq Muhammad Thabit al-Mansuri were sentenced to death by the court on April 11 in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on charges of treason and espionage”.

They had been taken into custody by Houthi rebels in 2015 along with six other journalists.

The six other journalists were also convicted of the same charges but released by the court for the time served in prison.

“It is a well-documented fact that Houthi forces are using these special criminal courts, one of which sentenced journalists to death last week, as a means to settle political scores,” the IPI said.

“The journalists had no access to lawyers during their trial, as a result they were unable to defend themselves in the court. IPI has requested the U.N. special envoy to use his good offices to secure the release of the four journalists,” the IPI said.

For their part, the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) urged in a letter to the UN Secretary General to support efforts for saving lives of the abducted journalists in the Houthis-run prisons.

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