Press release June 17, 2018
Saudi Arabia and UAE: Release Human Rights Defenders, Allow Journalists to Enter Yemen
A Saudi-led military coalition detained two prominent Yemeni human rights defenders as they prepared to fly out of the country.
In response to the Saudi-led military coalition detaining two prominent Yemeni human rights defenders in Yemen’s Hadhramout region as they prepared to fly out of the country, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The detention of Radhia Almutawakel and Abdulrasheed Alfaqih of Mwatana for Human Rights is part of the Saudi-led military coalition’s effort to seal off Yemen from journalists, human rights activists, and the international community,” said Dokhi Fassihian, senior program manager for the Middle East and North Africa at Freedom House. “Mwatana is a respected, apolitical human rights organization that has provided detailed, well-documented accounts of atrocities committed by all sides in Yemen’s armed conflict. The coalition has already prevented journalists from entering Yemen, and these latest arrests signal an intensification of its information blackout. Almutawakel and Alfaqih should be released immediately, and journalists should be granted access to the country.”
Yemen is rated Not Free in Freedom in the World 2018 and Not Free in Freedom of the Press 2017.