LONDON: The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the killing of Yemeni journalist Rasha Abdullah Al-Harazi, who died in a car explosion while she was driving through a neighborhood in southern Aden.
Al-Harazi was nine-months pregnant at the time of her death and was traveling with her husband, Mahmoud Al-Atmi, who is also a journalist. He survived the blast but was seriously injured.
Al-Harazi worked for three Gulf newspapers, Al-Ain, Al-Sharq, and the UAE-based Bloomberg Asharq. Al-Atmi contributes to Al-Arabiya and the Saudi news channel Al-Hadath.
“Rasha Abdullah Al-Harazi’s horrific killing and Mahmoud Al-Atmi’s grievous injuries illustrate how Yemeni journalists face death daily by simply living in their home country and covering the news,” said CPJ’s Senior Middle East and North Africa Researcher Justin Shilad.
It was unclear whether the attack was targeting Al-Harazi or her husband. Al-Atmi had reportedly received threats from the Houthis.
Yemeni journalist Bassem Al-Janani posted screenshots on social media showing how Al-Atmi was previously describing how members of the Houthis had been asking for information about his address in Aden and a description of his car.
“On Oct. 6, my colleague Mahmoud Al-Atmi contacted me saying that the Houthis have summoned some journalists in Hodeidah to ask for information about Al-Atmi, including his car plate number and his address,” Al-Janani’s post read. “I advised him to immediately leave Aden, but he refused because his wife was about to give birth.”
“He wanted to leave after she gave birth, but their car was targeted today with an IED,” Al-Janani wrote. “The Houthis have previously abducted Mahmoud’s brother to pressure him alongside various other journalists in Hodeidah to get information about him.”
The killing of Al-Harazi was condemned by various international and human rights organizations, including the UN, the EU, the Yemen Journalist Syndicate and the Gulf Center for Human Rights.
At least 19 journalists have been killed in Yemen since the conflict broke out in 2014, and at least two were killed in Aden last year, according to CPJ research.