Reporters Without Borders roundly condemns the attacks that security agents, police officers and plainclothes men have carried out against journalists covering street protests in Sanaa during the past two days. The attacks took place during demonstrations hailing the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and calling for Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s departure.
Yesterday, reporter Khalil Al-Berh was held by force in a security services car for 30 minutes. His camera was seized and was not returned until its memory card was emptied. Reuters photographer Khalid Al-Mahdi was attacked as he was walking alone on a Sanaa street and his camera was smashed, while Associated Press photographer Hani al-Ansi’s camera was confiscated.
Today, Marebpress correspondent Majid Shuaibi was attacked by men with sticks and knives as he was covering a student demonstration and his camera was stolen. Abdullah Ghorab, a correspondent for the BBC’s Arabic-language service, was badly beaten by a group of armed men in plain clothes while covering a demonstration outside Sanaa university.
Samia Al-Agbhry, a woman journalist, lost consciousness when she was beaten by plainclothes policemen during clashes between pro and anti-government demonstrators outside the university.
Reporters Without Borders urges the Yemeni authorities to allow journalists to do their work without fear of being arrested or physically attacked by members of the security forces, who are supposed to protect them. The organization calls for an investigation into these abuses and the punishment of those responsible.