2 March 2014

Egypt: Freedom Foundation and Sanad Network Strongly Condemn Attack On Al-Arabiya's Crew and Confiscating Their Camera

press release

Freedom Foundation for media freedom, rights and development and SANAD network (Network of defenders of media freedom in the Arab World) have strongly condemned the physical attack, defamation, inciting, media coverage prevention of Al-Arabiya TV crew and confiscating the channel's camera, today morning by the officers and soldiers of the National Security while covering the arrival of vehicles carrying the accused before the Special Criminal Court in Sana'a.

In his report to Freedom Foundation, the director of Al-Arabiya office in Sana'a, Hamoud Monassar said, "The channel's crew who are the correspondent Ehab Al-Showafi, the producer Jamal Noman, the cameraman Fouad Al-Khader and the assistant cameraman Fathi Al-Jaberi, were subjected to the media coverage prevention, physical attack, defamation, inciting and confiscating the TV camera to the National Security Agency ."

He clarified that he contacted with the operations room of the National Security Agency, but they haven't answer him at first, then they contacted him later and told him that the channel's camera is with them and will be retuned in the next day after deleting all photos inside.

He pointed out that the attack on Al-Arabiya's crew was carried out by seven officers and soldiers of the National Security according to their and the National Security Agency confirmation, who have prevented the team from the media coverage, attacked, accused them of being agents and confiscated the TV camera to the national security agency after smashing the sound system while attacking the team.

Freedom Foundation and SANAD network consider this incident a serious media freedom violation in Yemen by the National Security Agency, which is supposed to protect and not confiscate the media freedom. It reveals a serious indicator and new orientations of the government to confiscate the media freedoms and is contradicted with the outputs of the national dialogue conference, which guaranteed in its content the media freedom and rights, as well as contradicted with the international conventions that guarantee the exercising of the media work freely as a fundamental right for journalists.

On the other hand, three journalists during the past few days were violated in Hodeidah and Dhamar provinces because of publishing issues , where the reporter of Hodeidah news network ,Mohammad Mahdi Al-Aqel was subjected on Tuesday, February 25th 2014, to the severe beating with sticks and hands and looting the camera by a gang affiliating the Tihami Movement led by three persons who are; Ahmed Salim Ahmed Zal, Ahmed Hajer and the nicknamed Al-Aborah , because if his media coverage for some movement members who were closing the main street in Bajil directorate, Hodeidah province .

On the same day and level, the reporter of the AlSharea newspaper, Bassam Al-zoreikywas subjected to the beating ,threat and media coverage prevention by Mohammed Bagera together with two persons for unknown reasons while covering a demonstration the Tihami Movement in the main street in Bajil directorate, Hodeidah province . In Dhamar province, the journalist Mohammed Al-Washi'ee has received on Wednesday, February 26th 2014 a murder threat via a phone call by the board of directors official of Al-Hada agricultural cooperative association ,because of his publishing a documented report in the economic attach of the (Akhbar Al-Youm) newspaper issued on February 23rd 2014 ,in which he talked about the corruption in the association and complaints of its members and farmers to the public prosecution and demanding their rights.

As Freedom Foundation and SANAD network are condemning these violations against journalists, they are also demanding the Yemeni authorities to pay a special attention and protect the media freedoms and hunt down the perpetrators and prosecute them so as not to exempt from the punishment

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