Yemen: journalist escapes murder attempt

Nabel Subaye, a Yemeni journalist, escaped a murder attempt by armed men on Saturday 2 January in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Yemeni Journalist Syndicate (YJS) strongly condemn these attacks and demand that the de facto authorities in Yemen investigate the circumstances of the murder attempt and punish the perpetrators.

Subaye is a well-known Yemeni journalist who writes in several national newspapers. He is an outspoken critic of the Houthi group and its leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi. On 2 January, Subaye was walking in downtown Sana’a when he was intercepted by armed men on a motorbike. The men shot him twice in both legs beat him for several minutes with batons on his head and back. He has been in hospital since the attack.

A group of senior Yemeni journalists and writers published a joint letter denouncing these acts of violence as well as previous assaults: “The brave and critical journalist Nabel Subaye faced similar attacks during [ex-president]* Saleh era which we thought were terminated However, the alliance of Saleh-Ansar al Allah [another name for the Houthi group]* is still writing the same dark pages: muzzling press freedom, silencing journalists through killing and assassination, kidnapping (...) or turning them into human shields in front of the external aggressors.

IFJ President, Jim Boumelha, said: “The IFJ condemns this new act of violence against a journalist and holds Abdul Malik al Houthi, the leader of Houthi group/Ansar al Allah, accountable for this attack. We see this attempt to kill Subaye as a consequence of Abdul Malik al Houthi’s incitement against critical Yemeni journalists he made in his video message released a few months ago.”

In his video message Abdul-Malik al-Houthi described journalists and intellectuals as “traitors who are more dangerous to the country than the mercenary fighters,” adding that “something must be done to face them.” The video which was broadcasted on Almasirah TV on 19 September represents an incitement to the group’s followers to harass critical voices in Yemen.

*editor’s note

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