CPJ calls on Yemeni government to ensure that the rights of all journalists are respected

June 7, 2019

Ambassador Ahmed Awad Bin Mubarak
Embassy of the Republic of Yemen
2319 Wyoming Ave, N.W
Washington DC, 20008

Sent via email

Dear Ambassador Mubarak,

Thank you for your letter dated May 9, 2019, and for your concern for the welfare of Yemeni journalists. We are aware of the continuing dangers and threats that Yemeni journalists face in areas under Houthi control. We would like to use this opportunity to reiterate our call to your government to ensure that the rights of all journalists are respected.

CPJ has documented a climate of fear and intimidation for journalists operating in parts of Yemen under Houthi control. Journalists have told CPJ that Houthi forces often assault them in the streets of Sanaa and other cities simply for carrying cameras or other equipment that identifies them as journalists. There is no credible, independent process for investigating assaults and suspicious deaths, such as that of investigative journalist Mohammed al-Absi.

CPJ is concerned about the ongoing detention by the Houthis of Abdulkhaleq Amran, Hesham Tarmoum, Hareth Hameed, Akram al-Waleedi, Essam Balghaith, Hisham al-Yousifi, Haitham al-Shihab, Hassan Anaab, Tawfiq al-Mansouri, and Salah Al-Qaedy. We have also documented the case of Anwar al-Rakan, who died two days after being released from Houthi custody as a result of ill-treatment while in detention.

CPJ has reported on the climate of fear and intimidation in areas under Yemeni government control. We have covered arson attacks and abductions by the Security Belt forces, as well as detentions by Yemeni elite forces. Additionally, CPJ has documented at least seven journalists killed in Saudi-led coalition airstrikes since the start of the military intervention in 2015.

As we continue to investigate attacks against journalists in Yemen, we call on your government to meet its international commitments to uphold press freedom and safeguard the rights of all journalists, regardless of their political affiliation or editorial stance. We reject any policy that equates journalists with armed combatants, or that turns journalists into bargaining chips within a broader conflict.

We would welcome a continued dialogue with the embassy and will be in touch to arrange a meeting with our Middle East team.


Joel Simon
Executive Director, Committee to Protect Journalists


Courtney Radsch, Advocacy Director
Sherif Mansour, Middle East Program Coordinator
Bradley Klapper, Quorvis Communication