Aden- Journalists in Yemen are the subject to ongoing oppression and tragic setback as insurgency militias exercise brutal authority inhibiting the press.
Iran-allied Houthi militias along with armed loyalists backing ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh have employed coercive control against the Sana’a-based government news agency and independent partisan outlets since the start of the coup.
Meanwhile, voices are raised demanding the release of journalists detained by coup militias, the number of captives rose to 21 journalists last week.
Houthi militias arrested a number of pro-coup journalists, most of which advocating Saleh loyalists forces.
Despite the coup’s so-called Supreme Political Council President Saleh al-Samad ordering the release of Yahya Abdel-Raqib al-Jubeihi who is both journalist and university professor that was sentenced by the Houthi court to death for his anti-coup views, he remains in lock up.
Samad also issued directives to free remaining detained journalists, but none of the orders were followed with action.
Al-Maqri, a journalist imprisoned by the extremist al-Qaeda off-shoot AQAP, is still held in captivity. He was kidnapped by the terror group in Hadramout before pro-government forces, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, liberated the city of Mukalla and other coastal cities in April 2016.
According to Nabil al-Asidi, a member of the Yemeni Syndicate of Journalists, “most detainees in the hands of militias are subjected to torture, psychological trauma, and are suffering from many diseases.”
“Militias refuse to treat them or offer them medical assistance,” Asidi told Asharq Al-Awsat.
“Veteran journalist Yahya al-Jubeihi, sentenced to death, suffers from severe asthma and deteriorating health conditions.”
“Abdel Rahim Mohsen, kidnapped by the militia while receiving treatment in a hospital in Rahda city and has fallen into coma repeatedly as a result of continued torture and violent interrogation,” Asidi cited information received by the syndicate.
“As for the statement on the coup granting a general amnesty for all journalists and ordering their release, including the journalist al-Jubeihi, the syndicate stresses that it is their right to be free, and not a privilege to be granted by coup militias,” he said.
“The kidnapping and arrest by the militias constitute a crime against the law and those militias are violating perpetrators, yet we are still waiting for the truth behind their promises to release journalists and give them the freedom they deserve,” he added.