Mubarak al-Abadi

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Mubarak al-Abadi was killed by a mortar shell while covering clashes between pro-government and rebel forces in the al-Ghail district of al-Jawf province on August 5, 2016, according to his colleagues, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, and the Yemeni Ministry of Information.

Al-Abadi was a frequent contributor and fixer for Yemeni and international outlets, including Al-Jazeera, through his role as the president of the Nabaa Media Foundation, an organization that promoted media coverage in al-Jawf province and trained journalists.

Videos posted by the Nabaa Media Foundation on its YouTube page include footage of fighting in al-Jawf province and interviews with pro-government fighters. Footage posted on the channel was used by Arabic channels, including Al-Arabiya.

Al-Abadi also worked as a correspondent for Suhail TV, the outlet reported. The channel did not respond to CPJ’s request for comment sent through its website about his employment with the channel. According to news reports, the channel is closely linked to the Sunni Islamist Islah Party, for which al-Abadi also worked as a media official.

As peace talks in Kuwait sputtered to a halt, fighting continued in al-Jawf province between a patchwork of pro-government forces on one side and rebels supporting the Houthis and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh on the other, according to news reports. The Islah party al-Abadi represented is a fierce opponent of the Houthis and former President Saleh.

A memorial video published by Suhail TV shows Abadi giving multiple interviews for the channel and features his footage from the frontlines in al-Jawf. The video also included one of several examples of Abadi working while carrying an automatic rifle. In a 2015 Al-Jazeera report, al-Abadi is identified in an interview as a “member of the resistance and media activist” and provides an update on the fighting while holding a rifle.

Abdul Karim al-Khyati, an Al-Jazeera journalist who worked with al-Abadi and conducted the 2015 interview, told CPJ that weapons were very common in this part of Yemen, comparing al-Jawf to Texas during the 19th century. He said that al-Abadi frequently carried his rifle to protect himself and the other journalists with whom he worked.

Al-Khyati and Khaled al-Hammadi, the president of the Yemeni press freedom group Freedom Foundation, both told CPJ that al-Abadi never participated in any fighting.