The killing of an outspoken journalist and human rights activist in southern Yemen has sparked widespread condemnation, with international human rights groups joining calls for an immediate and thorough investigation.
Sabah Muhammad Karibli, a prominent journalist and outspoken critic of the central government in Sana’a, was assassinated on Monday while travelling on the Mokha-Hodeida road, near the town of Eishah, in al-Bayda province.
“This outrageous crime requires condemnation by all who defend and protect human rights and the right to free expression,” said Margaret Huang, executive director of Amnesty International. “Karibli is the second journalist killed in Yemen in the last four months. His death has cast a shadow over peaceful protests in Yemen and raises serious concerns about the safety of journalists and activists.”
Karibli is the second journalist killed in Yemen in the last four months after Abdul Basit Al Oey’d, who headed the official Houthi media network, al-Masirah, was shot dead in Sana’a in May.
Last month, a member of Karibli’s family claimed that he was shot dead by agents of the Yemeni government in an apparent retaliatory move against him after he had criticised the government’s actions against demonstrators against the re-taking of Hodeida from Houthi militias.
“We are shocked by this massacre. Clearly this was a premeditated act of terrorism,” said Bassam Darrag, director of the UN Information Centre in Yemen. “The Yemeni government and the Interim National Government of Yemen, in particular, must do everything possible to ensure accountability, particularly when it comes to protecting journalists who are under threat of death or physical violence.”