Jim Boumelha, President of IFJ
The president of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) on Saturday criticised attacks against Yemen's state news agency SABA during last year's uprising in the Gulf country.
the agency's headquarters, Jim Boumelha said: "The destruction I saw in SABA was a complete shock to me", describing it as a crime against the press and journalists in general.
"The IFJ will spare no effort to cooperate with the Yemeni authorities to reinstate the Yemen news agency," said Boumelha.
"It is unacceptable that hundreds of journalists remain without work for over nine months, while the authorities do nothing," said the president while calling on the Yemeni government to give top priority for restoring and equipping the SABA building as soon as possible.
The IFJ president, IFJ coordinator for the Middle East Munir Zaarour and Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) board members toured departments of the agency and observed the damage to the building and equipment in an attack on May 2011.
Boumelha arrived in Yemen on Friday. He is to hold talks with the Yemeni president Abrabuh Mansour Hadi and prime minister Mohamed Salim Basindwa on the state of the press and freedom of expression in Yemen in addition to several issues pertaining to Yemeni journalists.
Boumelha will also take part in a meeting of the YJS branch and unions committee heads on April 13 -14.
The meeting will discuss essential issues concerning the YJS's statute and the achievements of the YJS's statute committee as well as the situation of Yemeni state-owned media institutions.
The journalism honour charter draft, how to improve journalists' living conditions, protection and gender equality will also be touched upon in the meeting.
The meeting will pay tribute to the five journalists killed during the youth-led popular revolution, who are Jamal al-Sharabi, Hasan al-Wadhaf, Abdul-Majeed al-Samawi, Abdul-Hakim al-Nour and Fouad al-Shamiri.