Iranian-backed coup militias ratcheted up violations and crimes against various media outlets and journalists in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and the rest of the cities under their control.
As a result, Yemenis came to say that the group topped violations against freedom commited by the terrorist ISIS organization.
Local reports discussed a number of violations against journalists and activists, as well as local media, ranging between killing, injuring, arrest, forced disappearance, torture, referral to courts, and confiscation of property.
The Media Freedoms Observatory (MFO) in Yemen issued its annual report for 2019 indicating that it recorded 143 violations against media freedoms in Yemen during the past year, including two cases of murder.
The Observatory stated in its report nine cases of injury, six kidnappings, 15 arrests, 30 assaults, 20 threats, one suspension from work, 11 violations against media organizations, in addition to 49 other cases.
MFO indicated that Yemeni journalists are working in a hostile environment, as a result of the increasing systematic and oppressive practices against them.
Houthi group topped the list of perpetrators of violations against journalists in Yemen, with 75 violations out of the total cases recorded during the past year, according to the report. It also pointed out that 11 media organizations were exposed to various violations during the past year.
Meanwhile, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate announced in its annual report that it had monitored 134 cases of media freedoms violations during 2019.
The Syndicate said that these violations come in light of the dangerous and hostile circumstances and environment, where the press and journalists are subjected to systematic violence and oppression.
The report documented hundreds of violations against journalists, including two deaths cases where Houthis killed journalists Ziad al-Sharabi in Mocha, and Ghalib Labhash in Ad-Dhalea governorates.
This brings the number of journalists, photographers, and media workers killed since the beginning of the war in Yemen to 35.
The Syndicate union condemned the violations and stressed on bringing the perpetrators to justice.
It noted that Houthi militias were behind most of the violations committed against journalists and media workers with 62 cases, while it recorded 13 cases of violations against unknown parties.
Kidnapped journalists suffer from harsh conditions in detention centers as they are still subjected to physical torture and are prohibited from receiving any medical care.
The report renewed its urgent demand for the release of all the kidnapped journalists, end the abuse against them, and dragging them to “mock” trials contrary to the principles of justice and the values of freedom.
Yemeni activists and journalists asserted that areas under militia control are experiencing the worst stage in the history of the press, as a result of the Houthi coup in the country in September 2014.
They reported that hundreds of Yemeni journalists and media workers have faced the most severe crimes, violations, and abuse some of which included murder, arrest, threat, exclusion, prosecution, kidnapping, and torture.
Yemeni professionals concerned with media freedoms say that Houthi militias came in second after ISIS in violations against journalists who suffer from repression accompanied by difficult and tragic living conditions that threaten their lives.
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