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Rights group: 61 media, human rights defenders killed in Yemen

September 8, 2020 at 9:16 am

Yemeni boys attend the funeral of a Yemeni journalist, Almigdad Mojalli, who was was killed on 18 January 2016 [MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images]

SAM for Rights and Liberties said yesterday that it had documented the murder of 61 media and human rights activists in Yemen from 2014 to 2019.

SAM said in its “A dangerous career” report that it has documented more than 1,586 violations against human rights defenders, civil society organisations, media outlets, newspaper reporters, social media activists and agencies during the five-year period.

According to the report, the violations included murder, physical assault, torture to death, enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention and prosecutions as a result of people airing their views, in addition to destroying media institutions and tampering with their contents, looting, or closing them.

“The year 2015 was the worst year for the media in Yemen,” the report said, explaining that in 2015, as many as 319 violations were documented, including ten deaths, followed by 2017 with 300 violations including three deaths and 2016 with 205 violations including ten victims, and in 2018 as many as 135 violations were committed while 2019 recorded the lowest number of violations with 134 cases.

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According to the report, the Houthis committed 60 per cent of the aggression, while the Arab coalition committed 25 per cent of the violations, the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) perpetrated ten per cent of the attacks, with other parties – including Al-Qaeda – responsible for the remaining five per cent.

SAM called on the international community to put pressure on all parties in the Yemen conflict to immediately stop all forms of violations against human rights and media activists and to form an international committee to investigate all the violations they were subjected to.

It also demanded that those involved in the violations be brought to account.