The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) called on Saudi authorities and the exiled government of former president Hadi to disclose the whereabouts of kidnapped journalist Yahya al-Sawari, and to release him immediately.
“The journalist Yahya al-Sawari is being held without charge at an unknown location,” said Sharif Mansour, coordinator of the Middle East and North Africa program at CPJ said, calling on Hadi’s government and Saudi forces to disclose al-Sawari’s whereabouts and release him unconditionally.
“Yemeni journalists are seriously at risk in Yemen, regardless of what they write,” he added in a statement posted on the Committee’s website.
The Committee said that the Interior Ministry of the Hadi government and the Saudi Ministry of Defense did not respond to letters the organisation had sent regarding the incident of the kidnapping and imprisonment of al-Sawari.
The Committee reported that its research “confirmed that journalists in Yemen have been imprisoned, threatened and detained by all parties to the conflict.”
On July 3, al-Sawari, a freelance journalist, was arrested in al-Ghayda, the capital city of Mahrah province, by militias affiliated to governor Rajih Bakrit and he was handed over to Saudi forces stationed in al-Ghayda Airport.
Al-Sawari has so far spent thirteen days imprisoned, without his fate and whereabouts being publicly known.