Annual Report on Freedom of Opinion and Expression in Yemen in 2023

In a Press Conference

The Yemeni Media Freedoms Observatory Issue its 2023 Annual Report on Media Freedoms:

Media Reality…  A Hazardous Scene with more than 54 violations cases against journalists!

The Yemeni Media Freedoms Observatory (Marsadak) issued an extensive human rights report in which it provides an integrated picture of Yemen’s media landscape, as well as an assessment of the media freedom situation, documenting violations against journalists and media workers, aiming to ending impunity.

The Report showed a total of 54 violations against journalists and women journalists in Yemen over the past year. Thus, reaching more than 2500 cases committed against journalists and women journalists over the last nine (9) war years, including 54 killings against journalists/ women journalists.

At the Press Conference opening, held today, by the Observatory (Marsadak), to launch its 2023 Report, the Chairman of the Observatory, Mustafa Nasr, said that the Report constitutes as an important document detailing Yemen’s obstructive media landscape and challenges over the last year.

“The annual Report for 2023 dealt with arbitrary practices, challenges and restrictions encountered by journalists in the areas of the Yemeni Government and the Houthi group. Which varied from murder, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture and other ill-treatment and unfair trials”, Nasr added.

For his part, the Executive Manager of the Observatory, reviewed the Report entitled “Media Reality… A Hazardous Scene” pointed out that these violations have contributed significantly to undermining media freedoms, which is depicted by the current worst media landscape.

He went on saying that the violations had contributed significantly to curtailing media freedoms and the Yemen’s media diversity has fade away, thereby missing opportunities for journalism in its usual way. “And the Independent Press is no longer exist in Yemen” he added.

According to the Report, journalists are no longer able to work away from the pressure of the parties to the conflict. As the total of violations against journalists and media outlets reached 2515, including 54 killings against journalists/ women journalists, 484 arrests, and 157 violations against media outlets.

The Report confirmed that despite the horrific documentation and testimonies collected by the Observatory during the past period, the perpetrators have gone unpunished thus far. Therefore, there is an urgent need to establish an independent international and local joint committee to investigate crimes against journalists by all parties to create practical and effective mechanisms that would decisively end impunity for crimes against journalists in Yemen.

Over the past nine years, the Report has documented 124 cases of interrogation, orders of compelling, and journalists’ trails, including harsh sentences, all of which were contrary to domestic and international laws and covenants. Such practices against journalists have become common by the parties to the conflict.

The Report came up with several recommendations to the international community and organizations concerned with freedoms of opinion and expression by pressuring the parties to the conflict to release arrested journalists and to respect the freedoms of opinion and expression. To ensure that all journalists and media outlets will be able to operate freely and independently.

Its worthy noting that the Media Freedoms Observatory in Yemen is a monitoring and information platform aimed at disseminating all matters relating to freedom of expression in various governorates of Yemen in a professional and independent manner, as well as analyzing and advocating for journalists’ issues at the local and international levels.

Click here to view the report