Sniper fire claims life of Yemeni cameraman

New York, September 26, 2011–A Yemeni cameraman died in a Sana’a hospital on Saturday, five days after being struck by sniper fire while covering an anti-government protest in the capital, according to local and international news reports. Hassan al-Wadhaf, who filmed his own shooting, is the second journalist to be killed in Yemen since demonstrations began in February.

Struck twice in the face, al-Wadhaf had been in critical condition since the shooting. The fatal shots were fired by an unidentified rooftop sniper, whose affiliation could not be verified. News reports say dozens of people have been killed in violent clashes in the Yemeni capital in the past week, with at least 28 fatalities reported on Saturday alone. Numerous people have been shot by snipers firing into crowds of anti-government demonstrators, according to international news reports.

Al-Wadhaf was working for the Arabic Media Agency, a production company that provides reports for the Saudi-based satellite news channel Al-Ekhbariya, the U.S. government-funded Al-Hurra, and the Iraqi state outlet Al-Iraqiya.

“We are saddened by the death of Hassan al-Wadhaf and offer condolences to his family and colleagues,” said Mohamed Abdel Dayem, CPJ Middle East and North Africa program coordinator. “Yemen has become one of the most dangerous places in the region for the press.”

On March 18, Jamal al-Sharaabi, a photojournalist for the independent weekly Al-Masdar, was among more than 40 civilians killed when government security forces opened fire on a demonstration in a square outside the main gate of Sana’a University, according to news reports.

Numerous other journalists have been the victims of targeted attacks, including, assaults, equipment confiscation, and arrests, CPJ has reported