Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns Yemeni freelance journalist Almigdad Mojalli’s death yesterday in an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states in Jaref, a Houthi-controlled district in the southern outskirts the capital, Sanaa.
Aged 34, Almigdad Mojalli was injured by shrapnel from an exploding missile and died while being taken to hospital. He had gone there for Voice of America to interview survivors of last week’s air strikes in Jaref in which 15 people were killed. “We offer our condolences to Mojalli’s family and friends and we pay tribute to his courage and to the courage of all the other journalists who continue to cover this war on the ground,” said Alexandra El Khazen, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “RSF reminds all the parties to the armed conflict in Yemen that they are required to respect journalists by UN Security Council Resolution 2222, adopted in 2015, and by the Geneva Conventions.” Mojalli described himself on LinkedIn as a freelance photographer and fixer specializing in war reporting and coverage of humanitarian issues. He worked mainly for foreign media, including the US government’s Voice of America, the London-based Telegraph newspaper and the humanitarian news agency IRIN. He had covered atrocities by the Houthi rebels and the use of violence to disperse anti-Houthi demonstrators before the start of the war. According to RSF’s tally, at least eight journalists and media workers were killed in 2015 as a result of the conflict between the Houthi rebels and the forces that support President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Yemen is ranked 168th out of 180 countries in the 2015 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index.