Belkis WilleSeptember 17, 2013 10:30
Commentary: Despite new press freedoms since 2012, Yemen is becoming a country where expressing an opinion can get you killed.
Yemeni Interior Minister Abdel Qader Qahtan (C) answers journalists' questions outside the central prison compound on June 2, 2013 in Sanaa, Yemen. The Freedom Foundation, a Yemeni non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting press freedom, documented 260 separate instances in 2012 in which journalists faced harassment and threats — even forced disappearance and attempted murder. (Stringer/AFP/Getty Images)
“Much as I miss them, I cannot live with my family anymore – my work puts them in danger,” Mohammed al-Rubaa, the 27-year-old host of a popular political satire TV show in Yemen told me earlier this year. “The reality is that I entered a profession that may lead to a very short life." Since a transitional government took office in Yemen in February 2012, there has been an alarming rise in attacks on journalists. Al-Rubaa was just one of 15 journalists to tell me that he receives regular death threats because of his work. Many put on a brave face and said they’ve received so many threats they no longer take them seriously.