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Yemeni cameraman killed and journalist wounded in bomb attack

A humanitarian convoy of the UAE Red Crescent arrives in Mokha, Hodeida province, Yemen, 22 June 2018
A humanitarian convoy of the UAE Red Crescent arrives in Mokha, Hodeida province, Yemen, 22 June 2018

STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images

This statement was originally published on ifj.org on 30 January 2019.

Ziad al-Sharaabi, a cameraman working for Abu Dhabi TV, was killed in a bomb attack on Monday in a restaurant located in Yemen's port city of Mokha. Faisal al-Dhahbani, a reporter from the same network, was wounded in the attack.

The IFJ joins the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate (YJS) and the UAE Journalists Association in condemning the attack and demanding a full investigation of the incident to bring those responsible for this heinous crime to justice.

Faisal al-Dhahbani told the YJS that he and his colleague Ziad went to a restaurant in a local market to have dinner. After a few minutes, a motorcycle that was next to the restaurant exploded killing Ziad and six other civilians, injuring many and causing widespread damage. Both journalists were on a mission to cover clashes in the Al-Mokha and the West coast areas of Yemen.

According to the IFJ, Yemen is one of the deadliest countries for journalists in the world. Since 2011, 35 journalists and media workers have been killed in Yemen as a consequence of the fighting between different parties of the conflict, both during the reign of former president Ali Saleh and during the war between the Houthis, the Yemeni government forces supported by the Saudi led-coalition and al-Qaida.

Furthermore, the YJS reported a total of 226 attacks on press freedom during 2018, including killings, imprisonments, attacks on media houses, closure down of media and the confiscation of journalists' material.

The YJS said in a statement: "The YJS expresses its condolences for the killing of journalist Ziad Al-Sharaabi to his family and colleagues. This attack evidences the increasing threats to journalists' work In Yemen. We stress that violent acts against journalists are war crimes".

Mohamed Al Hammadi, chairman of the UAE Journalists Association said: "We call on international media organisations to expose the crimes of the Houthis, which target journalists continuously throughout Yemen, without regard to international conventions and laws that criminalise such immoral practices. The international community must ensure the security and protection of media professionals while performing their duties in conflict areas in accordance with international humanitarian law".

IFJ General Secretary Anthony Bellanger added: "We are deeply shocked by this violent attack and we send our deepest condolences to the families and friends of all the victims. Crimes and attacks against journalists are going unpunished in Yemen. This is not acceptable. We demand the competent authorities ensure that all the perpetrators will be brought to justice and to do its utmost to protect and not attack journalists in Yemen".

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