IWMF Courage in Journalism Awardee Hadeel al-Yamani of Yemen Denied Visa to Attend Recognition Ceremony
[October 20, 2017, Washington, D.C.] – Hadeel al-Yamani, the first woman television correspondent for Al Jazeera Arabic in Yemen and a winner of an International Women’s Media Foundation’s Courage in Journalism Award, in September was denied a visa to enter the United States. Despite letters of support and the IWMF’s advocacy effort on her behalf, the visa remains in denial status.
Al-Yamani was slated to accept her award alongside veteran correspondents Andrea Mitchell (NBC and MSNBC), Deborah Amos (NPR), and others in ceremonies in New York, Washington, DC, and Los Angeles between October 18 and October 25, 2017.
The award recognizes the 25-year-old war correspondent’s incredible bravery in covering the bloody conflict that has engulfed her country and its impact on Yemeni families. Her work has paved the way for other Yemeni women aspiring to launch journalism careers as well, in an extremely conservative society.
Al-Yamani’s visa application to attend the Courage in Journalism Awards ceremonies was refused under Section 221(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act, which means that further processing was required. At the Courage in Journalism ceremony in New York on Wednesday, October 18, Lifetime Achievement winner Mitchell spoke forcefully about al-Yamani’s absence. “Would someone explain to me why Hadeel, who stood and braved the warzone and all the intimidation and dangers without missing a beat, and without losing any of her passion for telling the story of her countrymen . . . Exactly what threat does she pose to the borders of the United States of America?” She added, “If we cannot give a visa to Hadeel al-Yamani to come to this country and accept the award that she so incredibly deserves, what do we stand for?”
In her acceptance remarks, which she submitted via videotape, al-Yamani dedicated her Courage in Journalism Award to her colleagues in prison and to Yemeni female journalists, as well as to all those who lost their lives reporting on the war.
The IWMF’s Courage in Journalism Awards celebrations continue, with ceremonies in Washington, D.C. on October 23 and in Los Angeles on October 25.
For media inquiries, please contact Patricia Brooks at +1-202-351-1757.
About the IWMF:
Since 1990, the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) has worked to unleash the potential of women journalists as champions of press freedom to transform the global news media. We seek to ensure that women journalists worldwide are fully supported, protected, recognized and rewarded for their vital contributions at all levels of the news media. As a result, consumers will increase their demand for news with a diversity of voices, stories and perspectives as a cornerstone of democracy and free expression. Through our programs and grants, we empower women journalists with the training, opportunities, and support to become leaders in the news industry. Follow IWMF on Twitter: @IWMF; Facebook: @IWMFpage; and Instagram: @theIWMF.