SANA'A, April 16 (YJS) - The president of International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) said on Saturday that the IFJ's incessant message to the Yemeni authorities was obvious and bold, which is "the rejection of harassment, imprisonment and censorship on journalists".
During the opening of the meeting of "change leadership for a new agenda", Mr. Jim Boumelha said "we believe that a country will not be democratic, as long as its journalists are harassed."
He reiterated support for Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) in the current "tough and unsafe environment", accenting the IFJ's readiness to talk with the newly elected authority of Yemen on the press issues.
Mr. Boumelha extended his condolence of the five journalists killed during the public revolution in Yemen last year, saying "We must always remember the common things among those who believed in a goal and noble message. We have to intensify our efforts to fight injustice, especially injustice of impunity."
"IFJ will play a significant role in bringing the journalists' killers to justice", he stressed.
He said that it is regrettable that "those who gave their lives for the supreme national interest and the freedom of the press are being in jail", adding that freedoms of expression, opinion, hearing and movement are at stake in Yemen.
Mr. Boumelha demanded President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the government to release of journalist Abdul-Elah Haidar, adding that IFJ has already sent a letter to the US Secretary of State requesting Haidar's release.
He also praised the authorities' acceptance of reissuing the independent Alayyam newspaper.
The IFJ president stressed the importance of the YJS's unity, saying: "Your unity is your strength. Do not allow them to split you. Being united is importance for your community."
Mr. Boumelha indicated to the federation's commitment to support YJS. "IFJ obligated itself to continue to cooperate to improve YJS, enhance journalists' professionalism, express solidarity with harassed journalists and launch journalists protection campaigns."
The YJS head Yassin al-Masoudi praised the evolving relationship with IFJ and International Media Support (IMS) as well.
He said the meeting would discuss the most important issue of change and creating a new agenda fits with the revolutionary phase experienced by Yemen and other Arab states.
He called on journalists to be united and consolidated and to seek their financial and professional rights.
Al-Masoudi spoke of the steps taken to improve the syndicate, including the revision of the statute and codes of ethics, saying that YJS is working with IFJ to advance press laws and improve the journalists' living conditions.
Later, the meeting's participants discussed the YJS draft statute submitted by the statute committee, the official media institutions' situations and the relationship between YJS board and branches.
The meeting organized by YJS in cooperation with IFJ and IMS will be concluded on Sunday.
Besides the YJS board members, heads of YJS branches and the media institutions' unions committees took part in the meeting.