Yemenis rally in support of kidnapped Al Jazeera crew

Residents in the city of Taiz protest in solidarity with three Al Jazeera journalists believed kidnapped there.

    Protesters held photos of Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Hamdi al-Bokari and his crew [Al Jazeera]
    Protesters held photos of Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Hamdi al-Bokari and his crew [Al Jazeera]

    Crowds of residents in the Yemeni city of Taiz have staged a protest in solidarity with three Al Jazeera journalists believed kidnapped there.

    The demonstrators held photos of Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent Hamdi al-Bokari and his crew, Abdulaziz al-Sabri and Moneer al-Sabai, who went missing on Monday.

    The Al Jazeera Media Network has called for their immediate release.

    "They were covering events in the besieged city of Taiz, reporting on the human cost of the conflict. Our colleagues were simply doing their job of reporting the story and informing the world on what is taking place in Yemen," Mostefa Souag, the acting director-general of Al Jazeera Media Network, said.

    Bokari, a Yemeni national, was last seen around 10pm on Monday in the centre of the war-torn city.

    The news channel said in the statement on Thursday that there were "indications that he had been kidnapped by unknown persons".

    Bokari has worked for Al Jazeera Arabic since 2006.

    Strategic gateway

    "Al Jazeera holds their abductors responsible for their safety and security," Souag said.

    "It is tragic to see that in times of conflict, news organisations continue to be targeted. Journalists should have the freedom to do their work without the fear of intimidation, abduction or unlawful arrest."

    Taiz has become a flashpoint in the ongoing war between Iran-allied Houthi fighters, who control the capital Sanaa, and forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

    Hadi loyalists control Aden and much of the country's south with the backing of an Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

    Taiz is seen as a strategic gateway between Sanaa and the south.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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