Yemeni Journalist Detained Over Social Post, Says Watchdog

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Monday said that the Yemeni security forces arrested a female journalist Hala Fouad Badawi, calling on the authorities to set her free immediately.  

Badawi has been under detention since 30 December by Yemeni military intelligence command in Hadhramaut Governorate, in the country’s southeast,  the IFJ said in a statement.

Both the IFJ and the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) condemned her arrest in the strongest possible terms, and they said that Yemeni officials also seized her phone and working materials.

Badawi was arrested after her recent social media posts, in which she called for improving living conditions and holding accountable those responsible for corruption in government institutions, the IFJ added.

“On 5 January, Badawi was officially charged with spying and communicating with foreign agencies and moved from the detention facility of the military intelligence to the Central Prison in Mukalla city, the capital of Hadhramaut governorate,” the IFJ lamented.

Badawi has suffered systematic harassment by the authorities because of her job as a journalist.

The IFJ said that Badawi was also arrested in February 2020 when she was going to cover the popular protests held every Thursday in the governorate, at which protestors demanded improvements to their living and economic situation.

45 journalists have been killed in Yemen in the last ten years, the IFJ said, putting Yemen as one of the most dangerous countries for journalists.


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