IFJ: Violence from Yemeni authorities led to freelance's death

The International Federation of Journalists has said heavy-handed tactics used by the authorities in Yemen led to the death of freelance journalist Jamal Shar’abi on Friday.

Shar’abi was killed in Taghier Square, Sana’a, when gunmen fired on protesters in the capital.

This killing is the inevitable and tragic end to a terrible seven days for media in Yemen,’said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.

The Government bears a heavy responsibility because of its heavy-handed tactics in dealing with protesters that has increased the risks for journalists.”

The IFJ said Shar’abi’s death followed the expulsion last week of several foreign journalists.

Italian photojournalist Marco Di Lauro and his American colleague Patrick Symmes were detained at the airport in Sana’a as they returned from visiting historic sites and the Socotra Island. They were later expelled from the country.

In a targeted sweep on foreign reporters, four other journalists were ordered to leave. Oliver Holmes, a stringer for the Wall Street Journal and Time, Portia Walker, a correspondent of the Washington Post, Haley Sweetland Edwards, of the Los Angeles Times and AOL News and Joshua Maricich, a contributor to various newspapers.

According to the international broadcaster Al Jazeera, two of its reporters were also deported on Sunday and its office in Sana’a was ransacked by attackers with police looking on.

Attacks on journalists across the region are becoming commonplace as a result of widespread protests against autocratic regimes.

A second journalism group, the Campaign to Protect Journalists, said yesterday that more than 50 attacks had taken place against the press in Libya since unrest started earlier this month.

The IFJ says the attacks on media are also directed at Yemeni journalists following an attack on the offices of its affiliated organisation in the country, the Yemeni Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS) by a group which threatened to burn it down.

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