Washington, D.C., April 13, 2018–The Committee to Protect Journalists condemned a missile attack that killed a journalist and injured three others in Yemen today. Abdullah al-Qadry, a photographer and camera operator for the privately owned station Belqees TV, died from injuries while covering clashes in Bayda province, according to news reports.
Al-Qadry, who also contributed to Agence France-Presse, died from a neck wound before the crew could find medical help, according to reports. Belqees TV correspondent Khalil Al-Taweel and Yemen Shabab TV correspondents Thiab Shatir and Walid al-Jaouri were injured by shrapnel in the attack, and taken to a local hospital for treatment, their stations reported.
The stations reported that at least one of the journalists survived that attack, which left their vehicle burned out, because he was wearing a protective jacket.
Belqees TV and Yemen Shabab TV issued a statement that accused the Ansar Allah movement, commonly known as the Houthis, of targeting the news crews in the missile strike. Both stations back the internationally recognized government. The attack took place in a province that forces for the internationally recognized government recently captured from Houthi control, according to news reports. The Houthis are fighting to regain control of the area, according to reports.
CPJ could not determine if anyone else was injured in the attack.
“The death of Abdullah al-Qadry is only the latest tragic reminder of the immense risks that journalists take to cover the fighting in Yemen,” CPJ’s Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, Sherif Mansour, said from Washington, D.C. “Journalists are civilians, not combatants, and all sides in the conflict have a duty to safeguard them.”
Belqees TV said that al-Qadry had covered the Yemeni conflict for the station for the past three years.
Ansar Allah spokesperson Muhammad Abdalsalam did not immediately respond to CPJ’s email and text messages requesting comment.
Journalists covering the Yemeni conflict face risks including kidnapping, raids, and missile strikes. In December, Houthi gunmen stormed the Sanaa headquarters of the television channel Yemen Today and detained the channel’s employees, according to news reports. In 2015, Belqees TV and Yemen Shabab TV reporter Abdullah Qabil and Suhail TV reporter Youssef al-Ayzari were found dead more than a week after militiamen allegedly affiliated with Ansar Allah kidnapped them, the journalists’ employers told CPJ at the time.
At least three other journalists, including a Belqees TV photographer called Mohammad al-Qadasi, have been killed in Yemen since January 2017, according to CPJ research.