HRW: Yemen Shiite Militia Increasing Attacks on Journalists

Members of Yemen's Shiite Huthi militia in control of the capital have increased their attacks against journalists, including arrests and alleged torture, Human Rights Watch said on Monday.

As security in the violence-wracked nation deteriorates, the rights group said the Huthis -- who swept into Sanaa last year and have battled periodically with al-Qaida -- were committing a string of abuses against journalists.

"There has been an increase in arbitrary arrests and violence against journalists and other media workers by (the Huthis)," HRW said in a statement. 

The group said the Huthis had raided the offices of at least three news outlets in Sanaa since January. It gathered testimonies from media workers who said they had been tortured while in the militia's detention.

"The breakdown in security across Yemen has put the country's media in particular danger," said Joe Stork, HRW's Middle East and North Africa deputy director.

The New-York based watchdog said however that the Huthis were not the only group targeting journalists in Yemen.

HRW reported on the case of Abdul Karim al-Khiwani, an award-winning journalist turned top Huthi official, who was killed last week near his home in Sanaa.

The local branch of al-Qaida claimed responsibility for Khiwani's death.

Reporters Without Borders earlier this month cited local press advocates reporting at least 67 cases in which journalists and media outlets were the targets of death threats, abductions and looting in Yemen over the past eight months.

Source: Agence France Presse

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