Seventeen journalists and photographers completed a two-day safety training yesterday in Sana’a/Yemen. The training was organised by the Yemen Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS) and the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ).
Participants received specialised training on risk management, safety procedures and first aid. With at least 6 deaths this year and multiple cases of violence, torture and abductions of Yemeni journalists the YJS General Secretary, Mohammed Shebeita, underlined the importance of safety training for local journalists.
“The YJS and IFJ are determined to provide journalists with the necessary safety skills and knowledge,” said Shebeita. ”This is especially important as most deaths, injuries or abductions have occurred against journalists without the safety awareness that could have saved their lives.”
The YJS recorded over 100 cases of violation against journalists, photographers and dozens of newspapers and websites closed during the first six months of 2016. This includes 6 deaths, 11 cases of torture, 10 cases of attempted murder, 24 cases of abduction and detention, 12 cases of assault on journalists, media offices and private property, 13 cases of threats and incitement against journalists, 13 cases of blocking internal and external web sites, 7 cases of stopped salaries and dismissals and confiscation of journalist’s equipment and newspapers, and two trials.
“The IFJ salutes the YJS for its tireless efforts to defend the lives and wellbeing of the Yemeni journalists and its determination to provide journalists with lifesaving skills in one of the most dangerous countries in the world for working journalists,” said Philippe Leruth, IFJ President. “We will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our union and its members. We urge all international media support groups to back this vital work to enable all Yemeni journalists to benefit from safety training”.
The YJS and IFJ will continue to implement a long-term safety programme in the coming months across the country, including the provinces of Kaadn, Hadramout, Taiz, Hodeida and others.
The participants insisted on the importance of this currently unique programme for Yemen media. The IFJ safety trainer further stressed the importance of trainees sharing their knowledge with their colleagues to ensure that proper safety procedures are implemented at their work.
Complementing the safety programme, the YJS will launch next week a media and editors dialogue to strengthen professional solidarity between journalists and fight incitement and hate speech against journalists.