The war in Yemen, which began in 2014, continues to ravage the country and exact a heavy toll on press freedom. Yemen’s division into areas controlled by the Houthi rebels, the so-called legitimate government and southern separatists has exacerbated the media’s polarization. Neutral reporting on the war is rare, as the various parties to the conflict control the media. There are very few foreign reporters on the ground, while Yemeni journalists are trapped in the middle of all these forces. Around 20 are currently held by the Houthis or Al-Qaeda, most of them since 2015. One of the Houthi hostages, Anwar al Rakan, died tragically shortly after his release in 2018. In the part of the country controlled by the so-called legitimate government, journalists are also arrested arbitrarily and are subjected to abusive treatment by militias. Online access to media outlets has been blocked ever since the Houthis seized control of the telecommunications ministry. In all parts of the country, citizen-journalists are monitored and can be arrested for a single social media post. Some journalists gave up journalism to avoid reprisals but that has not stopped them being persecuted for what they wrote in the past.
168 in 2019
61.66 in 2019