Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns the death of Al-Yemen TV cameraman Abd Al-Ghani Al-Bureihi, who was fatally shot yesterday when security forces opened fired on protesters during a massive demonstration in Sanaa to call for President Ali Abdallah Saleh’s resignation. Around 20 people were killed during the weekend protests.
Al-Bureihi’s death brings to six the number of journalists killed in Yemen since the pro-democracy protests began in February. It has again highlighted the dangers to which journalists covering these protests are exposed. Two other cameramen, including Salah Al-Hatar of Al-Jazeera, were reportedly injured during yesterday’s demonstration.
Reporters Without Borders offers its condolences to Al-Bureihi’s family, friends and colleagues and reiterates its appeal for an end to the violence against civilians, including journalists. The Yemeni authorities must answer for Al-Bureihi’s death.
Journalists and news media have been involved in several incidents in the past few days. Reporters Without Borders has learned that Abd Al-Karim Thail, the editor of the 3 February website, was arrested as he was leaving his Sanaa home in the company of the activist Hamir Al-Muqbili on 14 October. His website posts information about the uprising in Yemen.
The Sanaa headquarters of the privately-owned TV station Al-Saida caught fire during clashes between security forces and members of the 1st Armoured Division who are backing the protesters. The station sustained a great deal of damage and much of its equipment was destroyed.
Ever since President Saleh’s return from Saudi Arabia on 3 October, the pro-government TV stations have been waging a hate campaign against many journalists, accusing them of treason and espionage. This has triggered a wave of attacks and violence against a growing number of media personnel.
In a statement last week, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate condemned the “carnage” and “relentless slaughter” of civilians and journalists by forces loyal to President Saleh and reiterated its call to the government to put a stop to the targeting of journalists.