February 26, 2021

United Nations: press freedom situation "deeply worrying" in Yemen, according to RSF

During a UN Human Rights Council interactive dialogue given by the group of eminent and regional experts on Yemen on 25 February, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemned the violations of journalists’ rights by all parties to the war and renewed its call for the release of detained journalists and stressed the obligation under international humanitarian law to protect journalists not participating in the hostilities.

The oral intervention by Sabrina Bennoui, RSF’s head of Middle East desk, during this inter-active dialogue is appended below:

Madam President,


Reporters Without Borders (RSF) hails the work of the Group of Experts on Yemen, where the situation of press freedom remains deeply worrying.


Despite the prisoner swap of October, 11 journalists are still detained in all the areas controlled by the different parties to the conflict. Four of them, detained by the Houthis, are awaiting the execution of the death sentences they received last April on charges of spying.


Moreover, the region of Aden was last year the center of several attacks against the media : TV reporter Adeeb Al-Janani died during the Aden Airport attack and nine others were injured. This came only a few months after the assasination of photographer Nabil Hassan in the same province. 


Also, Adel Al-Hasani, a freelance journalist who also works as a fixer for foreign media outlets, has been held arbitrarily for the past five months by the STC on a charge of “illegally facilitating the entry of foreign citizens”. 


RSF reminds the authorities of their duty to protect journalists, who must by no means be considered as parties to the conflict. 


RSF calls for the release of all imprisoned journalists and for the truth to be established in the cases of those who have been murdered.


Thank you.