Freedom house (Yemen media watchdog) organized in partnership with the UN Human Rights Commission, UNESCO (United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization) and al-Jazeera network a seminar on the protections of journalists and freedom of the press.
The seminar which was held on May 5th, aimed to mark World Press Freedom Day by addressing an issue Yemen media workers have had to grapple with over the past few months as violence against journalists has increased exponentially. Even though Yemen appears on paper to have turn the corner when it comes to civil liberties, journalists have never be at more risk of targeted violence, the victims of chronic political instability and widespread insecurity.
A large number of journalists, academic and officials attended the seminar in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a. The event was inaugurated by Yemen Minister of Information Ali al-Amrani, representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, George Abu Zuluf and prominent Yemeni journalist, Professor Yasin al-Masoudi.
All participants listen to a series of lectures which all covered issues related to the safety of journalists and the role and responsibility the state, officials and more broadly all actors of society should play in order to ensure that media are allowed to flourish free and independently.
Speaking before attendees, Minister al-Amrani called on all journalists and media workers to rationalize the media discourse and uphold a strong press ethos.” He added, “The current state of our media is nowhere near where we ought to be and where we ambition to be. All journalists should exert restraints, reject callous journalism and instead take pride in a strong media ethic.”
Khalid al-Hammadi, the head of Freedom House noted, “We aim through this event to create a common ground in order to build in Yemen a strong media culture … Free and independent journalism is at the base of good governance and democracy.”