Armed Houthis ride on the back of a truck in Sanaa, 08/04/2020

14 April 2020 :

The Committee to Protect Journalists on 11 April 2020 expressed alarm at a decision by the Ansar Allah group, known as the Houthis, to sentence Abdulkhaleq Amran, Akram al-Waleedi, Hareth Hameed, and Tawfiq al-Mansouri to death, and urged the Houthis to release them and all other journalists in their custody. A court proceeding set up by the Houthis in Sanaa, the capital, handed down the sentence on 11 April against the four journalists, according to the journalists’ lawyer, Abdel Majeed Farea Sabra; Abdullah al-Mansouri, Tawfiq al-Mansouri’s brother; and Nabil Alosaidi, Yemeni Journalists Syndicate co-chair, who communicated with CPJ via messaging app. The Houthis handed down the sentence after detaining the journalists for nearly five years, according to CPJ reporting.
“At a time when Yemen needs accurate news and information more than ever, this sentence is truly dismaying and will put the Houthis beyond the pale internationally should it stand,” CPJ Senior Middle East and North Africa Researcher Justin Shilad said. “We urge the Houthis to immediately reverse this decision and release all journalists in their custody.”
According to a copy of an indictment sent by Alosaidi and Sabra to CPJ, the journalists were charged with spreading false news "in support of the crimes of Saudi aggression and its allies against the Republic of Yemen."
Sabra told CPJ that it was possible to appeal the verdict and that he would do so. However, Sabra also told CPJ that he had not been able to properly represent his clients or defend them in the courtroom, including when the sentence was handed down.
At the same court proceeding on 11 April, six other detained journalists--Hesham Tarmoum, Hisham al-Yousifi, Essam Balghaith, Haitham al-Shihab, Hassan Anaab, and Salah Al-Qaedy—were sentenced to time served in prison and three years of so-called police supervision, according to Sabra, Alosaidi, and Abdullah al-Mansouri.


other news