BY CPJ

Adeeb al-Janani of Belqees TV Killed in Aden

Adeeb al-Janani, a reporter for privately owned Yemeni broadcaster Belqees TV, was killed December 30, 2020, at Aden International Airport while covering the arrival of the newly formed Yemeni government’s cabinet from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, according to his employer and the local independent newspaper Al-Masdar.

A plane carrying members of the new cabinet had just landed in Aden from Riyadh when unknown assailants attacked the crowd that had gathered with gunfire and mortar shells, according to Reuters. A news segment from Belqees TV posted on their YouTube page reported that al-Janani died from injuries sustained in the explosion. The report did not say whether al-Janani died at the scene or was transported elsewhere.

While in Saudi Arabia, the Yemeni government had reached a power-sharing deal with other groups pushing for areas in southern Yemen nominally under government control to secede, Reuters reported.

According to Reuters, no group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack, and the Ansar Allah group, commonly known as the Houthis, denied responsibility.

A video posted by Belqees Rights, a division of the TV channel that posts content in English about human rights issues in Yemen on social media, purported to show the moment of al-Janani’s death. In the video, an unidentified person holds a camera filming the event at the airport when an explosion occurs and the camera falls to the ground. CPJ could not independently verify whether al-Janani was holding the camera when this happened.

According to Belqees TV, al-Janani had worked as a correspondent for the channel in Aden for the past three years, covering local news events and alleged human rights violations against citizens. The channel reported that al-Janani continued his reporting after authorities from the breakaway Southern Transitional Council, which controls the city, closed the channel’s offices there.

Al-Janani was buried in Taiz January 2, 2021, according to Al-Masdar. Belqees TV general manager Ahmad al-Zurqa told CPJ via email that al-Janani was 32 years old and had five children.

Al-Janani one of several journalists affiliated with Belqees TV to be killed during the course of their work in recent years. Photographer Mohammad al-Qadisi was killed in January 2018 by a missile purportedly fired by the Houthis. In April 2018, another Houthi-fired missile killed photographer Abdullah al-Qadry. Additionally, reporter Abdullah Qabil was kidnapped by the Houthis and subsequently killed in May 2015 in a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on the building where he was being held. Qabil had worked for Belqees TV, among other local news outlets.