Ziad al-Sharabi

Beats Covered:
Local or Foreign:

Abu Dhabi TV producer Ziad al-Sharabi was killed in a bombing in Yemen’s Red Sea port city of Mocha, on January 28, 2019, according to The Associated Press and his colleague Faisal al-Thubhani, who was wounded in the explosion.

Al-Thubhani told CPJ that the bomb went off as he and al-Sharabi sat down for dinner at a restaurant. He said that the two of them ate regularly at the restaurant while on assignment in the area.

The journalists had been working on a piece about how the ongoing conflict has affected the livelihoods of Yemeni fisherman working off of the western coast. “We had finished preparing and sending our material and were sitting down for dinner,” al-Thubhani. “The site is not a military site and does not represent a threat to any party.”

Al-Thubhani said that the bomb went off near the restaurant, which is close to a bus terminal. Al-Thubhani said that he did not think the attack was random and that he and al-Sharabi may have been the targets. He told CPJ that both were known in the area and ate at the restaurant regularly.

Bombings and attacks are less frequent in Mocha than in other parts of Yemen, according to reports and local journalists with whom CPJ spoke.

Nabil Alosaidi, head of the training committee of the independent Yemeni Journalists Syndicate, told CPJ that the syndicate was not aware of any claims of responsibility for the attack and that it didn’t know who carried it out. UAE-affiliated outlets blamed the rebel Ansar Allah movement, commonly known as the Houthis, for the attack but did not offer evidence.

According to al-Thubhani, al-Sharabi, who was in his early 30s, had been working at Abu Dhabi TV, a UAE-run broadcaster, for four months and was originally from Taiz, but was raised and educated in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. Al-Thubhani said he has worked for the station since July 2018 and is also from Taiz.