Yemeni media organization: 2,250 violations against journalists since Houthi coup

Followers of the Shi'ite Houthi movement perform the traditional Baraa dance in Sanaa, Yemen, on September 9, 2017. (Reuters file photo)
Updated 12 January 2018

Yemeni media organization: 2,250 violations against journalists since Houthi coup

JEDDAH: A report issued on Friday by the National Organization of Yemeni Media “Sada” revealed that 2,250 cases of violation against journalists and media workers, and their institutions, were recorded since the Houthi militia coup against the legitimate government in Yemen until the end of December 2017.

In its report titled “Price of Abandonment,” the organization — according to the official Saba news agency — held the Iranian-backed Houthi militia accountable for 85 percent of documented violations against journalists in 21 Yemeni governorates.

It said the capital Sanaa, under militias control, topped the list of documented violations with 88 percent.

According to the report, 20 types of violations committed by the Houthi militia against media workers were recorded.

These violations included “abduction, enforced disappearance, murder, physical assault, targeting of houses, occupation of media institutions, and security prosecution.”

Over the past three years, the Houthi militia has been reported to have killed 22 journalists through sniping, using them as human shields, and 141 journalists have been kidnapped, the report said.

The report also showed that “Houthi-controlled Sanaa ranked first in documented violations with 1,972 cases, while Taiz governorate came second with 81 cases.”

In the period between 2015 and the end of 2017, according to the report, in Marib governorate, 219 journalists and media staff accounted for 40 percent of 544 journalists displaced by Houthi militia.

The report called on the legitimate government to pressure the United Nations and international organizations to do more to release and stop the torture of the journalists abducted by the Houthi militia.

Prince William on first official royal visit to Occupied Territories and Israel

On his first official visit to Israel and Palestine, Prince William is unlikely to talk about politics. Getty Images
Updated 23 June 2018

Prince William on first official royal visit to Occupied Territories and Israel

  • The second-in-line to the British throne is due to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
  • There is a pretty naked desire to build relationships and Israel is a warm target for an increase in trade

LONDON: Prince William will embark on the first official visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories by a member of the British royal family on Sunday.

But even with more than 120 Palestinians killed in protests in Gaza during recent weeks and controversy still surrounding the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, the second-in-line to the throne is not expected to talk politics.
Chris Doyle, director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU), told Arab News that the four-day tour is likely to focus on making trade deals in preparation for Britain’s departure from the EU next year, rather than on addressing the moribund Middle East peace process.
“There is a pretty naked desire to build relationships and Israel is a warm target for an increase in trade,” he said.
The visit risks “normalizing” the abusive regime under which Palestinians live, he added.
“Of course Prince William has to go to both the Israeli and Palestinian sectors or there would have been outrage. But there is a risk of his visit making it appear more acceptable and normal to carry out abuses of international law like the blockade of Gaza,” Doyle said.
William begins his Middle Eastern tour on Sunday in Jordan, a long-time ally of Britain. On Tuesday he will move on to Jerusalem, where he will visit Yad Vashem, the official memorial to Holocaust victims, meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and later attend a football event with a mixed Arab and Jewish team.
On Wednesday he will meet young activists, both Arab and Jewish, who are involved in education and social programs, and also cross into the Occupied Palestinian Territories to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah before attending an event focusing on Palestinian refugees.
He is due to deliver a speech at a reception hosted by the American consul in Jerusalem. However, protocol prevents him from making any remarks that might be deemed partisan. Doyle told Arab News this was a pity in view of how William’s mother, the late Princess Diana, championed justice for the oppressed.
“It is a pity that someone of his status, who clearly cares about his mother’s legacy, cannot give voice to real major concerns about the treatment of the Palestinians and the human rights abuses that are daily issues for them under Israeli control but which will be airbrushed out,” he said.
“Yes, he will see co-operative programs and Arabs and Jews playing football together, but the reality is that the Palestinian footballers can only travel to matches with Israeli permission.”
William was a surprise choice for the visit. Many expected the task to fall to his father, Prince Charles, who has more experience of countries which are politically extremely sensitive. But it is thought he was chosen because his youth chimes better with young Israelis working in hi-tech fields who he is scheduled to meet. Among Palestinians, his presence will barely register, said Doyle.
“I hope the language can be found for him to say something to his Israeli hosts, that his visit will be more than window-dressing, but the reality is it’s very unlikely. So the visit won’t register as important with Palestinians. They don’t want to be part of some tourist show or box-ticking exercise,” he said.