Abdul Rahman Hamid al-Din, a director and producer for the state-run Sanaa Radio, died in a hospital on August 16, 2014, from head wounds he sustained after being shot the day before, the Ministry of Information said. Unknown gunmen shot al-Din in Sanaa while he was at a building controlled by the rebel Houthi movement, according to news reports. It was unclear why al-Din was at the building.
It is not clear whether the journalist was shot in retaliation for his work or whether he was a victim of the escalated political violence in the country.
The killing came amid heightened political tensions and fighting between the government and various armed groups, including the Houthi movement, according to news reports. The same week of the shooting, the Houthi movement organized protests in the capital and several other provinces calling for the government’s resignation. Episodic violence escalated, and in September Houthi fighters swept through the capital and forced the government to resign after some of the worst fighting the country has witnessed in years, according to news reports.
On the same day that al-Din died, an explosive device was discovered underneath the car of Ibrahim al-Abiad, the director for the state-run Yemen TV, the ministry said. Colonel Mohammed Hizam, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry, said that an unidentified man alerted the family after he saw another man placing a black bag beneath al-Abiad’s car, which was parked outside his home in Sanaa, according to the Yemen Times. The police defused the device.
It was not clear who was behind the attacks or whether they were related to each other. Sanaa Radio and Yemen TV are two of the many radio and television stations in Yemen run out of the Yemen General Corporation for Radio and TV, part of the Ministry of Information.
The Ministry of Information said the attacks were not just directed against the journalists, but against all media outlets reporting on Yemen’s ongoing struggle against terrorism. Local journalists also said the killing was an attack on freedom of the press.