Paris (Sab) - Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has strongly condemned a death sentence issued by a Sanaa criminal court controlled by Houthi rebels against a Yemeni journalist, Yahya Abdelraqib Al-Jubaihi, on a charge of "spying for an enemy country".
Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk said that this sentence sets a dangerous precedent for journalists in Yemen, and that it was issued at the end of an unfair trial.
"This constitutes a grave violation of international law. We urge Houthi leaders to free this journalist at once,” El Khazen added.
Al-Jubaihi, 62 years old was convicted on the basis of past contacts with the Saudi embassy.
The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, which strongly condemned the sentence, said that it contradicts the Yemeni constitution and that al-Jubaihi was not allowed to defend himself in an unfair trial.
A respected journalist, Jubaihi has been held in Sanaa’s Habra prison ever since he was arrested at his home on 6 September 2016. As well as working for Saudi and Yemeni media outlets such as Al-Tagheer, he used to run the prime minister’s press office and advised the cabinet on media affairs.
"Al-Jubaihi , a respected journalists, has been held in Sana'a's Habra prison since he was arrested on 6 September 2016" RSF said in a statement.
"As well as working for Saudi and Yemeni media outlets such as Al-Tagheer, he used to run the prime minister’s press office and advised the cabinet on media affairs."
At least 16 journalists and media professionals are currently held the Houthi-Saleh militias and Al-Qaeda. Yemen is ranked 170th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2016 World Press Freedom Index
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