Anti-government protestors demanding the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Associated Press / Source : AP


Young people in Yemen are increasingly vocal in their calls for more democracy and respect for human rights. They’re facing many problems in their strife-torn country: violence, repression, rampant corruption, 73% youth unemployment, the world’s highest inequality between men and women. Freedom of speech, the press and religion are all restricted.


  • Population: 25.6m
  • Official language: Arabic
  • Freedom of the Press score: not free (score 79)


  • President Saleh ceded power in 2011, after months of protest, Abdradduh Manseh Hadi won presidential elections in 2012
  • Weak government institutions, tribal leaders are the informal powers
  • Separatist movement in the South


  • Yemen is the poorest country in the region, very weak economy, youth unemployment rates are very high, high illiteracy rates
  • Al Qaida controls part of the country, including some big cities
  • Ethnic and religious tensions


  • Repressive media laws forbid publication of any material that undermines public morality, control over print and broadcast media is strong, although officially  censorship doesn’t occur
  • State media are dominant, but private media are permitted, systematic violence against (critical) journalists
  • Poor infrastructure, around 16% of the population has access to internet, about 2 % of the population uses social media (Facebook), mobile penetration is 40%


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