The IFJ has welcomed calls by Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, for a thorough independent inquiry into the death of investigative reporter Mohammed al-Absi in Yemen.
The IFJ had provided support to its affiliate the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate and Mohammed’s family in their request for an independent analysis to establish the cause of his death.
The IFJ today welcomed Unesco's call for “the Attorney general to open a transparent investigation into the circumstances of his death.”
Ms Bokova said: “I call on the authorities to launch an independent investigation into the death of Mohammed al-Absi, in order to clarify allegations of foul play and hold those responsible to account.”
Al-Absi led investigative reports in Yemen for several news outlets. After his sudden death of heart failure at the age of 35 in December 2016, an autopsy revealed his blood contained a high concentration of toxic gas.
Reports said the journalist was having dinner with a friend in a restaurant on 20 December in the capital Sana. A few hours later they both felt unwell and were driven to the hospital, where the reporter died, while his friend survived.
The IFJ said: "At the time of his death we demanded an independent investigation. We have consistently supported his family and his union in their demands for a fair investigation. We welcome today’s call by Irina Bokova. Now the Yemeni authorities must act and the real cause of his death be established and in the event of foul play must act against the killers”.
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The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries