New York, March 26, 2018 -Yemeni authorities should investigate an attack on a media foundation’s offices and the abduction of at least seven people from the building, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today. Armed attackers on March 23 broke into the media foundation’s Aden offices, where the daily Akhbar al-youm and the weekly al-Shomou are printed, and abducted at least seven people, according to the foundation’s director Saif al-Haderi and news reports.
According to reports, the abductees are in an unknown location. CPJ is withholding their names for security reasons.
“Journalists in Yemen would appear to be at risk everywhere — on the street, in their homes and their places of work,” said CPJ Deputy Executive Director Robert Mahoney. “The authorities must do everything to find those who have been kidnapped and return them safely to their families.”
The Interior Ministry did not respond to CPJ’s message sent through its website asking if the ministry was investigating the abductions and the raid.
Al-Haderi told CPJ that unidentified gunmen on March 23 also took money, cameras, and other recording equipment from the foundation’s office. The director said that gunmen looted his house the same day.
The media foundation and its papers, which focus on Yemeni news, are close to the country’s internationally recognized government and Vice President Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, Yemeni Journalists Syndicate co-chair Nabeel Alosaidi previously told CPJ.
Previously, unknown attackers on March 1 raided the al-Shomou Foundation’s offices and set fire to the Akhbar al-Youm and Al-Shomou printing presses, CPJ documented at the time.
Violations against journalists are widespread throughout Yemen, with at least 15 journalists killed since civil war erupted in the country in 2014.