Dubai-Ten Yemeni journalists held by Houthis have gone on hunger strike to protest the conditions in which they are being held, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Wednesday.
“We are very concerned about the detention of journalists in Yemen and we appeal to their abductors to release them unconditionally,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk.
“We remind all parties to the conflict that they are required by international law to protect media personnel, like other civilians,” she said.
RSF said the families of the journalists held by the Houthis in the capital, Sanaa, which they are controlling since September 2014, reported that the journalists began a hunger strike on May 9 “in protest against the conditions in which they are being held.”
The families called for the release of the journalists, most of whom have been held for more than a year.
In their joint statement, the families condemned the constant mistreatment of the journalists (including torture and denial of adequate medical care) and the recent bans on visits in prison.
RSF said that journalists are in permanent danger in Yemen as a result of the continuing political instability and security threats that came following the eruption of the conflict more than a year ago.
Yemen is ranked 170th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index.
According to the United Nations, the conflict has left more than 6,400 people dead and displaced around 2.8 million since March 2015.