Hasan’s death is the latest cruel blow to media workers in war-torn and divided Yemen, where four journalists are currently under sentence of death in Sanaa, the Houthi rebel-controlled capital. The separatist-controlled city and province of Aden are governed by the Southern Transitional Council, which is backed by the United Arab Emirates
“Nabil Hasan’s murder is unacceptable and constitutes a terrible new blow to journalism in Yemen,” said Sabrina Bennoui, the head of RSF’s Middle East desk. “The country’s division and the polarization of its media have reached a critical point in which journalists are now favourite targets, regardless of the region they cover.”
Hasan, who had collaborated with AFP since 2015, was runner-up in the Rory Peck Awards in 2016 for his coverage of the battle of Aden. In January 2019, he survived a Houthi attack on the Al-Anad airbase.
Asil Swaid, a journalist based in Taiz (Yemen’s third largest city, after Sanaa and Aden) was meanwhile released on 30 May, a month after being abducted while seeking refuge in the separatist-controlled region. He bore the marks of torture. The four journalists sentenced to death in Sanaa in April were accused of spying for Saudi Arabia.
Yemen is ranked 167th out of 180 countries and territories in RSF's 2020 World Press Freedom Index.