The Journalist Support Committee held a symposium entitled: "Coalition crimes against the Yemeni media .. Continued violations and impunity"
On the International Day to end impunity for crimes against journalists, the Journalist Support Committee held a panel discussion in cooperation with Free Voices organization, entitled: "Coalition Crimes against the Yemeni Media, Continuing Violations and Impunity".
The symposium included 2 working papers and some testimonies of Yemeni journalists. Mr. Hussain Al-Junayd ( the chairman of the free voices organization) presented the first paper that included the mechanisms of protecting journalists and the media outlets, in addition to its role in ending impunity. The paper also included the status of the journalists in the international law, and protecting journalists and media outlets during armed conflicts.
Al-Junayd stressed in his paper on the need to support international efforts to activate the protection of journalists in areas of armed conflict, by raising the ceiling of the demand of countries to ratify the draft international convention for protecting journalists which was identified in Geneva 2007, as well as supporting the efforts of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), Committee to protect journalists, the international news safety institute and Reporters Without Borders (RSF) in operationalizing international protection of journalists during armed conflicts, in addition, to raise the ceiling of the state's demand to ratify the Statute of the International Criminal Court, which is considered a basic guarantee for the protection of journalists and the media and the protection of civilians and civilian objects in general.
In the second paper, which was presented by journalist Mohammed Jassar, entitled "Coalition Crimes against the Yemeni Media in the scale of "truth never dies", he talked about the Saudi coalition who has killed more than 100 Yemeni media professional by using systematic and deliberate operations, whether through air strikes or by different means of killings which provoked Reporters Without Borders to state:"a serious situation threatening the safety of journalists in Yemen". And according to the report of the Yemeni Media Union, many Yemeni media outlets in several Yemeni cities had their share of the coalition's crime, around twenty-two media establishments were destroyed, in addition to the destruction of government and private radio stations.
Al-Jassar pointed out to the enormous financing directed to hide the facts of the coalition's crimes and violations in Yemen, in addition to concealing all kinds of enticement and threats practised in order to buy Yemeni media. Large cyber armies were also employed to fight Yemeni journalists with the aim to undermine them, distort, defame and falsify the facts against them, they have also practised an unprecedented repression against the journalists which in fact created a state of terror. The coalition also has exerted pressure on satellite companies to block the Yemeni satellite channels that attack the coalition.
At the symposium, a series of testimonies were presented by local Yemeni journalists. The journalist Ahmad Al-Mukhtafi spoke about the material losses suffered by Yemeni radio stations, such as the entire bombing of Saada Radio and seven other radio stations by the Saudi coalition, and preventing new stations from entering the city due to the imposed blockade. Concerning human losses, two journalists and 5 five security guards were killed in Saada Radio as a result of direct and deliberate bombardment on the radio.
At the end of the seminar, participants stressed that the Yemeni Ministry of Information should communicate with journalists who have been abused and present their cases to the world and to prepare special media programs that expose the crimes and violations of the Saudi coalition and recall the massacres it has committed against the civilians and to submit it to the International Tribunal to ensure that there is no impunity for the Saudi coalition's crimes and violations against media freedom.
Journalist Support Committee - Switzerland
3 November 2018