Three journalists in Yemen are being tortured after capture by Houthi rebels in the capital of Sanaa, a syndicate has claimed.
The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate has demanded their immediate release and called on other organisations supporting freedom of expression to join the campaign for their freedom.
The journalists, Abdul-Khaleq Omran, Tawfiq Al-Mansoori and Harith Hamid, have been detailed since 2015. But a new report from their families, which was given to the syndicate, alleges they are being subjected to beatings, ill-treatment and torture in prison.
The syndicate condemned the Houthis’ “brutal repression and arbitrary practices”, claiming the rebels has been “torturing journalists who received arbitrary death sentences and have been living in very harsh detention conditions for nearly seven years”.
On April 11, 2020, the Houthis issued a death sentence against the three journalists, and one other, after accusing them of collaborating with the Saudi-led Arab coalition, which they deny.
Human rights groups in Yemen and internationally have documented multiple human rights violations and other crimes against Yemeni journalists, committed by all parties in the conflict.
In its annual report, the syndicate said it had found “104 violations against journalists, photographers and media outlets between January 1, and December 31, 2021”.
According to “Reporters Without Borders”, Yemen ranked 169th out of 180 countries on the World Media Freedom ranking in 2021.
For nearly seven years, Yemen has been witnessing a war between government forces backed by an Arab military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the Iranian-backed Houthis, who have controlled several governorates, including the capital, Sanaa, since September 2014.
By the end of 2021, 377,000 people are thought to have been killed due to the conflict, according to the United Nations.
The UN also noted that most of the 30 million population depend on aid.