Journalist Nabil Hasan al-Quaety killed in Yemen



A picture obtained on June 2nd from the Facebook page of Nabil Hasan al-Quaety shows a photo posted on his account on May 17th. The 34-year-old was gunned down in his car by unknown assailants shortly after leaving his home in Aden. [Nabil Hasan/Facebook/AFP]

Yemeni journalist Nabil Hasan al-Quaety was gunned down and killed Tuesday (June 2nd) in Yemen's southern city of Aden, prompting the government to call for an investigation.

The 34-year-old videographer and photographer, who contributed to AFP and also worked for other major news organisations in the region, was shot in his car by unknown assailants shortly after leaving his home in Aden.

A security source told AFP that the armed men escaped.

"Targeting journalist Nabil al-Quaety in an organised and planned assassination is an attack on the press in Yemen, and it reflects the failures and mistakes of all the warring parties," said deputy information minister Najib Ghallab.

"We condemn this crime against al-Quaety, whose work was to cover events and facts in pictures. It seems that his work has caused outrage among some extremist parties."

Ghallab called for "a clear and transparent" investigation into the killing, and for the internationally recognised government and the southern separatists -- who control Aden -- to collaborate in the probe.

The separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) also condemned the killing.

"It is with great sadness and pain that the STC mourns the martyrdom of the war photographer al-Quaety in a treacherous terrorist operation," it said in a statement, calling for a "transparent" investigation.

Al-Quaety, who also went by the name Nabil Hasan, began working with AFP in 2015. He was married with three children and had a fourth on the way.

"We are shocked by the senseless killing of a courageous journalist doing his job despite threats and intimidation," said AFP's global news director Phil Chetwynd.

In 2016, al-Quaety was a finalist in Britain's Rory Peck Award for his work covering Yemen's conflict that pits the government against the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah), with an entry judges described as "rare and outstanding".

In January 2019, he survived a deadly Houthi drone attack on al-Anad airbase, north of the southern port of Aden, during a military parade he was covering.

Yemen lies at the bottom of Reporters Without Borders' world press freedom index, in 167th position out of 180 countries listed.

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