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Yemeni journalists condemn abduction of American photojournalist

National Yemen

Yemeni journalists condemn abduction of American photojournalist

By the Editor

The Journalist Syndicate in Sana’a condemns that there is no movement by the government of Yemen and the American embassy to investigate and free the American photojournalist Luke Somers, who was kidnaped last December by unknown gunmen in front of a supermarket on al-Zubairy St.

We journalists represent a variety of media channels, including newsprint such as National Yemen newspaper and freelancers are also disappointed at Mr. Somers’ unknown fate. Somers arrived to Yemen in late 2010 on a teaching visa. During the 2011 revolution, he was known as the most active photojournalist at Change Square.

Somers worked as a copy editor for Yemen Times, Yemen Observer, and National Yemen. By 2013, he joined the National Dialogue team and worked for the media center as a proofreader and  reports for the English stories.

Abdulbari Taher, former head of the Journalist Syndicate, has called on the kidnappers and government to act responsibly and free Somers.

“The government should bear its responsibility and protect all journalists against unfair attacks once they begin doing their work.”

Marwan Damag, acting head, says that this protest is also to sympathize with the loss of a colleague.

“Our profession creates strong relations with everyone despite their nationality, and we call on the kidnappers to hold him safely and release him peacefully.”

The Syndicate also condemns the act of kidnapping for its negative effects on the country’s economy. Tribes were using kidnapping as a way of achieving public projects, or releasing prisoners, but, “today kidnapping has turned into a business for quick revenue, as well as financing for terrorist operations within the country and elsewhere,” says the statement.

The journalists call for the immediate release of all kidnapped persons, blaming authorities in charge for their carelessness, and calls on all journalists and local NGOs to play a role against delinquents and their behavior.