Yemeni Army Detains Journalists for Trying to Cover Northern Peace Conference

US Ally Has Banned All Journalists From District Since 2004

Yemeni troops today captured at least 25 journalists, including members of the international media, for trying to travel into the northern region. They had been invited by Shi’ite tribal chiefs to attend a peace conference.

The journalists were released under orders from Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, but they were expelled from the area because they lacked the special permits needed for journalists to even travel to the province.

Since 2004 the Yemeni government has banned all media from entering any of the Saada Province and most of the Amran Province. This has meant coverage of the intermittant civil war in the area has largely come in the form of official press releases from the government.

The detentions come just days after Yemeni troops raided the home of a high profile journalist, Abdulelah Hiden Shaea, and detained him on unspecified charges. He had previously complaining in the state media of receiving threatening messages from the security forces.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.