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Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on the attack on journalists in Yemen

01.06.2017

Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid, today (1 June) issued the following statement on the death of three journalists in Yemen:

I utterly condemn the attack in which the three photojournalists Taqi al‑Din al‑Huthaifi, Wael al‑Absi and Sa’ad al‑Nadhari were killed and two other journalists injured near the town of Taiz.

Putting their lives on the line, journalists work to ensure conflicts such as the one in Yemen do not become forgotten conflicts. I call upon all conflicting parties to guarantee the safety of journalists and respect freedom of the press.

Given the continued deterioration of what is already a catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen, there is no time to lose. We call upon all parties to lay down their weapons, grant humanitarian access and return to the negotiating table. Only a political solution can end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen once and for all.

Background:

On 26 May, the three photojournalists Taqi al‑Din al‑Huthaifi, Wael al‑Absi and Sa’ad al‑Nadhari were killed and two other journalists injured near the town of Taiz in southwest Yemen. Yemen is one of the most dangerous countries for journalists. According to Reporters without Borders, five journalists were killed last year either in a targetted attack or while doing their job. In 2015, the figure was six. In 2016, 16 journalists were kidnapped, in 2015 thirteen.

According to the United Nations, Yemen is home to one of the world’s most serious humanitarian crises. Some 18.8 million people are dependent on humanitarian assistance, the country is witnessing an acute cholera outbreak and famine is a serious threat. With Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid Bärbel Kofler as patron, the #nichtvergessen (don’t forget) initiative launched by the Federal Foreign Office along with several aid organisations aims to draw more attention to crises such as the one in Yemen.

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