Human rights groups call for independent inquiry into journalist's death


On 5th February 2017, Mohammed Al-Abbsi's autopsy results were released to the public. Al-Abbsi was a prominent journalist who produced numerous news stories and articles investigating corruption in Yemen. On 20th December 2016, he died in the hospital, reportedly due to a heart attack. The autopsy results, however, confirmed that he was killed by exposure to a toxic substance. Fearing that the exposure was intentional, human rights groups, including the Gulf Centre for Human Rights and Reporters Without Borders, have called for an urgent, independent and impartial investigation into Al-Abbsi's death.

The current situation in Yemen represents the world's largest humanitarian crisis; 18.8 million people are in desperate need of basic necessities: clean water, food, shelter, clothing and medical care. More than 14 million Yemeni face an impending food shortage, forcing many to leave the country in desperation. According to the United Nations, in the past two months, 48,000 have fled to neighbouring countries. In this tragic and most desperate of situations, freedom of expression has been severely restricted. Foreign journalists, including Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times, have been banned from entering the country to document the impact of the conflict for the international community. Moreover, local journalists, human rights defenders and media professionals continue to work tirelessly under extreme circumstances and constant threats.