The YMU Calls on Investigating the Crimes on Yemeni Journalists
The Yemeni Media Union called for the formation of an independent international investigation committee to look into the crimes committed by the US-supported Saudi-led aggressive coalition against the press and journalism in Yemen, and to refer those involved to the competent international courts.
In a statement made on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3, the Union indicated that the Saudi aggressive war against Yemeni journalists and media professionals is still continuing.
It explained that the violations committed by the forces of the aggressive Coalition against the media during six years amounted to 584 violations, as the number of killed journalists due to the targeting of their homes by Saudi airstrikes reached 74, and the military media reached 290 killed, while the number of wounded reached 25.
With regard to media facilities, the Union mentioned that the number of media facilities that were directly targeted is 23 facilities, in addition to 30 broadcasting and radio transmission towers. It also imitated six radio channels and websites, the suspension of eight TV channels, the blocking and disruption of seven channels, and the penetration of three news sites. Meanwhile, two official newspapers stopped publishing, and 143 Arab and foreign journalists were prevented from reaching Yemen.
The Union confirmed that the continuation of the air, land and sea blockade imposed by the aggressive Saudi-led coalition on Yemen has led to the death of a number of media professionals due to their inability to travel abroad, including the deceased Mohammed Yahya Al-Mansour, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Yemeni News Agency Saba, Editor-in-Chief.
The YMU said that the aggressive forces of the coalition prevented representatives of the Arab and foreign media from visiting Yemen, with the aim of covering up the violations they committed and reducing the impact of the national and humanitarian media message on society and international public opinion.
In addition, the Union reported that thousands of Yemeni journalists and media workers are suffering from a difficult economic situation as a result of the siege and the transfer of the Central Bank to Aden, which led to the suspension of salaries for the government employees for more than four years now.
“These documented crimes and violations confirm that the aggressive coalition does not care about the customary rules of war and does not take into account international humanitarian law and the international agreement on the safety and independence of journalists and media professionals, which criminalizes the targeting of journalists and the media, and they should be treated as civilians that are inviolable in war and peace,” the Yemeni Media Union stated.
The Yemeni Media Union condemned the international silence towards the continuation of the US-Saudi coalition and their allies in ceasing the salaries of journalists working at media institutions and trying to impose dictations on them.
It also denounced the continued silence of the United Nations, the Human Rights Council, and the International Federation of Journalists towards the aggression and siege that the Yemeni people are exposed to by the US-supported Saudi-led coalition and their allies, calling on all “free” human rights, journalistic and media organizations and bodies in various countries of the world to condemn this silence and consider it a stigma.
Moreover, it called on colleagues in the profession, while celebrating World Press Freedom Day, to work together towards implementing mechanisms of accountability towards the perpetrators of these crimes and those who cover them up.
The YMU called on the United Nations and UNESCO to work on taking frank and clear positions towards these crimes that violate international laws, as well as pressuring the coalition of aggression to lift the aerial blockade and open Sanaa airport for patients and travelers, and allowing Yemeni and international journalists to have the freedom to travel to and from Yemen.
The YMU also requested to release prisoners, detainees, and disappeared persons, and to conclude a comprehensive prisoner exchange deal between the various parties, praising the positive calls made by the National Committee for Prisoners’ Affairs in this regard.