In a statement released today a journalist in Yemen makes known the chilling details of how state owned news media in Saudi serve as a targeting weapon directed against independent news gathering and reporting. Al Arabiya and Al Hadath satellite channels are being used to intimidate and target those brave reporters in Yemen who dare make known the true facts and circumstances of what is happening on the ground in Yemen.
Ramah Hugairah Statement
To all colleagues in the Yemeni Syndicate for Journalists, Arab Syndicate for Journalists, and the International Syndicate for Journalists;
To all public activists in legal, media, and transparency organizations worldwide;
To all interested transparency and media organizations worldwide:
I am writing to report a serious breach to professional and neutral media practices committed by both: Al Arabiya and Al Hadath satellite channels.
On April 3rd, 2015, and during the coverage of the KSA-led offensive against Yemen, both channels aired my photo and name falsely presenting me as “the leader” of what they called “rebels media”. This is a crystal clear act of targeted agitation against myself as a journalist, directed towards provoking and eliciting spiteful and vicious reactions from the public and/or other parties siding against whom they name as “rebels”.
Such unethical, unprofessional, and untruthful reports are meant to aggravate certain parties and pull off terrifying consequences on journalists, and their families too, with whom opinions and convictions are not compliant with those that are adopted by such channels. Their mentioned report, which was called
‘The heads of snakes’,
was further concluded by putting forward a plain threat to myself, solely based on my opinions and writings, that I would only face an unpleasant and unknown destiny.
This is a clear breach to the freedom of speech and ethical practices from such media entities. Portraying journalists along with their families as being parties to political and armed conflicts in such unethical means is a form of terrorism targeted against freedom of speech and is meant to forcefully silence journalists from uncovering facts to the public. It was absolutely unexpected that the KSA owned channels would ever reach to the level of publicly and openly airing threats towards media professionals and journalists and in a country where extremist groups such Al Qaeda have previously committed numerous crimes against targeted journalists.
In this statement, and based on the aired threats received, I am holding KSA and its various agents/allies within the country fully responsible for any harm that would be waged against myself, my family, or any other journalists I work with.
I am also calling upon you and your organizations to escalate such complaint as per pertaining international laws to safeguard and protect journalism and journalists in Yemen from such vindictive and personalized acts.
4th April, 2015