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Female Yemeni journalist abducted and beaten in Sanaa by unknown attackers

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has called on authorities in Yemen to step up their efforts to protect the safety of journalists following the abduction and appalling beating of woman journalist, Saraa al Shehary, in the capital city of Sanaa on Wednesday, 4 December 2013.

According to IFJ affiliate, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS), al Shehary, a correspondent for Al Maserah TV, was kidnapped in the city on the afternoon of 4 December and then left in an area near Sanaa airport the following day. It is not known who carried out the attack.

In a separate incident on the same day, economic media magazine reporter, Abdulsalam al Ghubary, was beaten and kicked by riot police while filming a motorcyclist demonstration in the City Mart area of Sanaa.

"We strongly condemn these brutal attacks on our colleagues in Yemen and we call on Yemeni authorities to carry out an immediate investigation into the incidents to ensure the perpetrators are brought to swift justice for their crime," said IFJ President Jim Boumelha.

The YJS has demanded that a speedy and thorough investigation is carried out into the two incidents, while also calling on authorities to provide the safety of journalists and prevent security forces from carrying out attacks against them.

The abduction and attack on al Shehary follows a series of attacks that have targeted journalists and media outlets in Yemen in recent months. IFJ condemned a car explosion in Sanaa in November that left senior journalist Mohammed Al Imad seriously injured, while in October, it called for increased media protection following a brutal attack on a delivery van for the Akhbar El Youm newspaper in the Yemeni city of Aden.

IFJ and the YJS organised a seminar last week on the challenges facing women, including threats and intimidation, in the city of Aden. The seminar was attended by more than 40 participants including union leaders and women journalists from different parts of the country. The participants agreed to meet again later next week in Aden to elect a committee to work towards "Equality in the Media."

"We salute the incredible courage and integrity of women journalists in Yemen. They are standing up together in the face of threats and intimidation," said IFJ General Secretary Beth Costa. "We want to assure them that the IFJ will stand shoulder to shoulder with them in these difficult times."

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