Five individuals burst into Muhammad al-Rabou’e’s home in the district of Beni Qais, in Yemen’s northern province of Hajja and shot him multiple times, according to Al-Jazeera and other news outlets. Al-Rabou’e, 34, a reporter for the monthly Al-Qahira, had written several articles about the activities of a reputed criminal group.
Police arrested five members of the Aouni family in connection with the slaying. The Ben Qais security chief, Abdelrazaq Azzaraq, told CPJ that the suspects–Ahmad Aouni and four of his sons–had carried out the murder in retaliation for the reporter’s coverage of their alleged criminal activities, including accusations of child trafficking.
The reporter had received several death threats in connection with his articles about the Aouni family, according to Al-Qahira Editor-in-Chief Muhammad Darman. The five suspects were previously arrested on charges of assaulting al-Rabou’e in December 2009, but prosecutors did not pursue charges in court.
Al-Rabou’e worked as a journalist in Beni Qais for 11 years and covered multiple corruption cases in the course of his career.