Saeed Thabet, deputy chairman of the YJS, rejected the idea that journalists should have to appear before courts to defend their opinions
Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate refuses summons to Aden court for criticizing deceased army general
The Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS) has rejected summonses from Aden’s Specialized Criminal Court, demanding the appearance of journalist Abdulaziz Al-Majidi and eight other journalists and activists for criticizing Brig. Gen. Adnan Al-Hamadi, who was assassinated in December.
Calling it an attack on press freedom, Saeed Thabet, deputy chairman of the YJS, rejected the idea that journalists should have to appear before courts to defend their opinions.
The Sana’a-based organization was founded in 1976 to defend Yemeni journalists’ freedom of expression.
Thabet referred to the attack as “a dangerous precedent that will affect freedom of expression and target all journalists in the future.”
Expressing solidarity with his colleagues in the face of "intimidation and incitement campaigns," he accused the local authorities and security agencies of causing harm and asked them to protect journalists.
The use of civil courts specializing in issues of freedom of expression is a more appropriate way of dealing with these types of situations, he added.
Asking journalists to refrain from polarization and disputes, he also stressed the importance of upholding the values of the profession and the ethics of journalism.
In 2019, the Yemeni Media Freedom Observatory (YMFO) documented 143 attacks on media freedom in Yemen. The Houthis topped the list of violators of press freedoms, accused of more than half of all documented attacks. Parties affiliated with the Yemeni government were linked to 37 attacks, while Southern Transitional Council forces, the Saudi-led coalition and others were named as the perpetrators of the remainder of the violations.