Brutal Murder of Yemeni Journalist “Smacks of Targeted Assassination” Says IFJ

The International Federation of Journalists today called for a “thorough and detailed” investigation into the shooting of Mohammed Salem Al-Sagheer, a leading Yemeni journalist and Editor-in-Chief of Al-Waseet newspaper.

“This appalling attack, in which Al-Sagheer and his wife were both gunned down, has all the hallmarks of a targeted assassination,” said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary.

Al-Sagheer, a press freedom campaigner as well as a businessman, was found dead with his wife in their home in downtown Sana’a on December 6. Police inquiries so far have uncovered evidence that the killer, described as a professional, had used a gun with a silencer in the attack in which both the journalist and his wife were shot in the head.

The killing has shocked the Yemeni community of journalists and the IFJ affiliated Yemen Syndicate of Journalists is following the police investigation closely. The exact motive for the attack remains unclear.

“This distinguished journalist was a rare breed of entrepreneur and press freedom fighter,” said White. Sagheer had worked to ensure that private sector and opposition newspapers were able to publish by providing printing facilities at affordable prices.

“The possibility that this tragedy is linked to his work and commitment to independent journalism cannot be ignored,” said White. “The authorities must act swiftly to find those responsible and bring them to justice.”

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The IFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countries