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IFJ condemns killing of journalist in Yemen

11 June 2018

Yemeni journalist Anwar Al-Rakan died on Friday 8 June, just two days after his release from a Houthi prison, amid claims he had been tortured.

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joined its affiliate the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) in strongly condemning the brutal treatment in captivity which had led to his death.

Al-Rakan had been detained in Al-Saleh city detention facility located in Taiz in Yemen and for unknown reasons.

The journalist’s family said that Al-Rakan died as a result of the torture he had faced during his detention, this was also referred to in Al-Rakan's own statements made shortly before he died, and torture was also highlighted in the physician's examination report that was produced once Al-Rakan had been released.

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate documented over 300 violations of press freedom in Yemen in 2017 and the union said that 68 per cent of these violations were committed by the Houthis.

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate statement said the union:

"strongly condemns this heinous crime that claimed Al Rakan’s life and holds Houthis group fully responsible for this crime, confirming that it has no statute of limitation, and the perpetrators shall be held to account."

The IFJ pledged its support to help Yemeni journalists expose and tackle the ongoing abuses in the country.

Anthony Bellanger, IFJ general secretary, said:

"We utterly condemn the barbaric treatment our brother Anwar was subjected to. It is not a coincidence that we chose Yemen as one of the seven countries for our End Impunity campaign. The war between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition results in increased violations of journalists’ rights. These systematic attacks against the press and journalists must stop immediately." 

Tags: , ifj, yemen, yemeni journalists syndicate, journalists killed