Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Yemeni Journalist Flees Aden after STC-police Raids his Home & Seeks his Arrest

Journalist Ahmed Maher, 22, fled Aden to unknown place inside Yemen after the issuing of an arrest warrant and a raid on his home in Aden, three days ago.

Maher, chief editor of ‘Marsad Aden’ website tells me in a phone interview, “Three hours after I received the warrant arrest, I escaped Aden. The warrant said that the Southern Transitional Council has ordered (Dar Sa’ad) police to arrest me. After I fled, they raided my house.”

Since the latest events in Aden, Ahmed Maher has been one of the most active journalists reporting from Aden. He has been a frequent guest speaker on TV channels, like Al Jazeera Arabic and BBC Arabic. He has been expressing anti-UAE and anti-STC views, and believes that was the reason for issuing an arrest warrant. “They want to punish me for my reporting via social media and TV channels, and especially my pro-government political stance.”

In a Facebook post, Maher explains how one of the policemen told him that his crime was his Facebook posts about the situation in Aden. He says over the phone that after he escaped and felt relatively secure, he posted about what had happened to him. Maher fears for what could happen to his family who lives in Aden and if he would be captured elsewhere.

Maher has been working as a journalist since 2013 but since 2016 he has focused primarily on the violations conducted by armed groups. Maher recalls that about two years ago he was attacked by armed groups while reporting on the deportation of northerners in Lahj province, south Yemen. “I was detained and tortured for a day after my reporting on Lahj,” says Maher, “the second assault I faced was awhile ago after I expressed my objection to how STC is weakening Yemen’s government. And now this.”

Maher says he will continue reporting no matter what.

Yemen’s Journalists Syndicate affiliated to Hadi government expressed its concern over violations against journalists in Aden and Ahmed Maher’s situation. It has also received complaints from journalist Saleh al-Issey who resides outside Yemen now and his home was raided by armed men.