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Brutal attack on Yemeni newspaper's delivery van in Aden

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned a brutal attack on a delivery van for the Akhbar El Youm newspaper in the Yemeni city of Aden last Saturday, 5 October.

According to IFJ affiliate the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS), the van, which was bringing the papers to the Cairo area of the city for distribution, was attacked by masked gunmen at dawn in Aden's Sheik Osman area. The gunmen opened fire on the two media workers in the bus, shooting one of them in the foot and abducting the other. He was later released. The gunmen burned the bus and took a number of copies of the Akhbar el Youm and Yemen Fox Arabic newspapers

"We strongly condemn this vicious attack against these media workers who were simply going about their daily work and ensuring these newspapers were delivered to the public," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. "It is clear that the aim of the attack was to intimidate and threaten the local journalism community and we call on the authorities in Yemen to make every effort to ensure the perpetrators of the attack are brought to swift justice."

The incident occurred just two days after another attack on Thursday, 4 October, when a group of gunmen in a car stole 800,000 Yemeni Rial (equivalent to 4,000 US dollars) belonging to the Akhbar el Youm and Yemen Fox Arabic newspapers from offices and kiosks in the city.

The YJS has condemned the attacks which it says "threaten the journalistic working environment" and called on the country's relevant authorities to step up the protection given to those whose job it is to distribute the papers. The union has reiterated its refusal to become a victim of press disagreements and political conflicts and has called for an end to the violent attacks against the media.

"Regardless of political opinion, the right to freedom of expression and media safety must be upheld," said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "We offer our full support to our colleagues at Akhbar el Youm during this difficult period and we call on all factions in Yemen to respect and uphold media freedom in the country."

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