Index 2024
154/ 180
Score : 33.67
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator
Index 2023
168/ 180
Score : 32.78
Political indicator
Economic indicator
Legislative indicator
Social indicator
Security indicator

The military conflict that began in Yemen in 2014 continues to ravage the country and to have a major negative impact on press freedom.

Media landscape

The Yemeni media are polarised by the war’s different protagonists and have no choice but to align themselves with those in power in the zone in which they are located, under penalty of sanctions. The Saba news agency depends on the official government. The daily Al-Masdar supports the Islah Party, and Al-Masirah TV is the main Houthi mouthpiece. Online access to media outlets has been blocked since the Houthis took control of the telecommunications ministry. 

Political context

Providing independently reported news and information in Yemen is difficult, as the media are controlled by the various parties to the conflict. There are few foreign reporters in the field. Wherever they are, journalists are watched closely and can be arrested for their social media posts. Some journalists have changed careers to avoid reprisals, but that has not prevented them from being prosecuted for previously published articles.

Legal framework

It is difficult to talk about legislation in a country embroiled in military conflict a civil war. The legal environment for journalists is very complex. The laws are out of step with the reality on the ground, and journalists depend on approval by the authorities that is conditional on the loyalty they show them.

Economic context

Businessmen and politicians have taken advantage of the decline in the economic situation and living conditions to buy journalists and media outlets. Journalists can only report freely if they have another source of income. Funding is provided to media outlets that are loyal to the authorities, businessmen, politicians or religious leaders. 

Sociocultural context

Religion is ubiquitous in Yemen and journalists who tackle topics deemed to be social problems risk being accused by religious figures of being “secular”, “infidel” and “atheist”.


Journalists are subject to abduction by Houthis, Al Qaeda or the official government. They are also victims of violence and abuses by militias, who target them for attacks, assassinations and death threats. Once detained, they can be tortured and mistreated. Four journalists accused of spying for Saudi Arabia and sentenced to death by the Houthis were released in 2023 following an agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, which resulted in a truce between their respective allies in Yemen, the government in Aden and the Houthi rebels.