The Yemeni Media Union (YMU) has called for the formation of an independent international commission of inquiry to consider the crimes committed by the Coalition against the Yemeni media and refer the perpetrators to the International Criminal Court.
In a statement on the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, which falls on May 3rd, the Union noted that the war of Saudi-led coalition against Yemeni journalists and media continues.
“The violations committed by the forces of the Saudi-led coalition against the media and the media professionals during six years amounted to 584 violations,” the statement reads. “The number of martyrs of the national media as a result of the (aggression’s) air strikes on the homes of journalists reached 74 and the martyrs of the military media reached 290, in addition to 25 wounded 25.”
Regarding media facilities, the statement stated that 23 media facilities were directly targeted, which resulted in their destruction. In addition to targeting 30 broadcasting towers, cloning six channels and websites, stopping eight channels, blocking and disrupting seven channels and infiltrating three news sites. Meanwhile, two official newspapers stopped publishing and 143 Arab and foreign journalists were prevented from reaching Yemen.
“The continuation of the air, land and sea blockade imposed by the forces of the Saudi coalition on Yemen has led to the death of a number of media professionals due to their inability to travel abroad,” the Union confirmed.
It pointed out that the forces of the coalition prevented representatives of the Arab and foreign media from visiting Yemen, with the aim of covering up the violations they committed and reducing the impact of the national and humanitarian media message on society and international public opinion.
“These documented crimes and violations confirm that the aggressive coalition does not care about the customary rules of war and does not take into account international humanitarian law and the international convention on the safety and independence of journalists and media professionals, which criminalizes targeting them and deals with them as civilian objects that are inviolable in war and peace,” it added.
The Yemeni Media Union condemned the international silence towards the continuation of the Saudi coalition in cutting the salaries of journalists working in media and press institutions.