Car bomb targets two married journalists in Aden
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) deplores the decline in the environment for media personnel in Aden, in southern Yemen, where a targeted car bomb attack this week killed a journalist and badly injured her husband, also a journalist. Yemen’s provisional capital, Aden is controlled by the Southern Transitional Council (STC).
El Sharq TV correspondent Rasha Abdallah Alharazy was killed by the car bomb on 9 November, while her husband, Mahmoud Alotmei, a reporter for the Emirati TV channel Al Ain, was hospitalised in a serious condition. They had been on their way to the hospital where Alharazy was to have given birth.
No one claimed the bombing but suspicion has fallen on the Houthi Shia rebels that control a sizable part of Yemen including the former capital, Sanaa, and the port city of Hodeida. RSF has learned that Alotmei was documenting human rights violations by the Houthi militia in the areas it controls.
Shortly after the bombing, freelance journalist Baseem Al-Jenani posted a tweet accompanied by a screengrab showing he had been in WhatsApp contact with Alotmei on 6 November and had warned him that the Houthis were trying to obtain information about him, including his address and his car’s model and registration number.
Riyadh Aldubai, a human rights blogger with the Yemeni Coalition for Monitoring Human Rights Violations, meanwhile reported that the Houthis had detained Alotmei’s brother with the aim of intimidating him.
“We condemn this appalling crime and call for an investigation to identify those responsible,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “Aden has now become the most dangerous city for outspoken journalists in Yemen and the nerve centre for targeted killings.”
Four journalists have been killed in Aden since the start of the year. Three journalists were killed on the job on 10 October as a result of a car bomb attack on a convoy of cars carrying the governor and members of the government.
Yemen is ranked 169th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2021 World Press Freedom Index.