Selwan Abdelghani Medhi al-Niem

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Al-Niemi, a freelance translator working for the U.S.-funded Voice of America
(VOA), was fatally shot while driving home from a relative’s house. His mother
and 4-year-old daughter were also killed. VOA said a motive had not been

Al-Niemi’s wife, Ban Adil Serhan, a former translator for the U.S.-based
media company Knight-Ridder, told CPJ that she believes she was also an intended
target _ and that the assailants mistook al-Niemi’s mother for her.

On the day of her husband’s funeral, she said, her brother discovered a
handwritten note outside the family’s front door. Citing Quranic verses, the
note said people who work with “infidels” should be killed and warned that Adil
Serhan’s “turn will come soon, God willing.”