THE LEVANT – RWB report – The targeted attack came one day after a state radio producer was killed in a shooting
Reporters Without Borders condemns an attempt to murder state TV producer Ibrahim Al-Abiad by means of a bomb under his car on in Sanaa on 16 August, just a day after a state radio producer was killed during a shooting in the capital.
Abiad, who has contributed to many programmes and series since 1979 and works for Yemen TV, the national television station, was told by a passer-by on the afternoon of 16 August that he had just seen an individual place a plastic bag under Abiad’s car, which was parked outside his home on Rabat Street.
Abiad immediately called the police, who found a bomb inside the plastic bag. Explosives experts managed to defuse the device.
“We firmly condemn this murder attempt,” said Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire. “Journalists continue to be attacked in a climate of violence that has been threatening Yemen’s stability since 2011 at least.
“The authorities must take all necessary measures to guarantee the safety of journalists. Legislative provisions must be adopted and judicial measures must be taken to guarantee freedom of information in Yemen and end impunity for crimes of violence against journalists.”
The day before this murder attempt, Abdel Rahman Hamid El-Dine, an engineer and producer with state-owned Sanaa Radio since 2003, sustained a fatal gunshot injury to the head during an armed attack on a building controlled by Ansar Allah, the Houthi rebellion’s armed wing.
El-Dine and friend were hit by shots fired inside the building by unidentified individuals. An investigation is under way to determine the origin and circumstances of this attack, which has not been claimed. It remains to be seen if El-Dine was deliberately targeted or was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.
The political and security situation in Yemen has been extremely tense since the start of 2014, with growing demands from Houthi rebels, who are fighting the army in the north of the country.
Peaceful anti-government protests were held in the capital and Houthi-controlled provinces on 15 August, and Houthi supporters demanded the government’s resignation during demonstrations in Sanaa on 20 August. In an attempt to prevent further escalation, the president has called on Ansar Allah to enter into a dialogue.