Investigate Murder of Yemeni Journalist

Target: Yemeni President Hadi

Goal: Investigate the death of journalist Wagby al-Shabi

In February 2012, two men reportedly shot and killed a journalist, Wagdy al-Shabi, in his home in Aden, Yemen. The initial report released by the government stated that al-Shabi was a militant member of al-Queda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), and his death resulted when they attacked the military. This report was swiftly laid to rest by inquires posed by Human Rights Watch and the testimony of al-Shabi’s wife.

Najla al-Mansoob, al-Shabi’s wife, recounted that she “saw two men wearing civilian dress and military vests with guns. They saw [her] and started shooting in [her] direction, but [she] was able to escape to the bedroom and hid with [her] children for the next 30 minutes while the men patrolled the house and garden.” Al-Mansoob also stated that she believed her husband had no connections with AQAP, and that any proposed “evidence” compiled by the government to support this association was not genuine. Further study by Human Rights Watch showed no indication of al-Shabi having any ties with AQAP. While the government quickly redacted the initial report, questions need to be posed as to why the report was ever established in the first place.

Al-Mansoob’s testimony clearly shows a need for a thorough investigation, not only into the murder, but into the reasons why the Ministry of Defense labeled al-Shabi’s death as being a mere casualty of violent military action. This further shows that there is definitely more to this event than the Yemeni government would like to admit.

When it comes down to it, nobody knows for sure what truly occurred, and the testimonies provided provoke further inquiry rather than statements of certainty. Clearly there seems to be something odd at the root of this situation. While we cannot make claims prior to an investigation, we can all agree that a transparent and in-depth analysis of the death of al-Shabi and the seemingly vacuous claims made by the Yemeni Ministry of Defense is absolutely necessary. And if the means of justice are provoked, then let them be exacted, whether it be on perpetrating citizens or military officials.

Sign below to urge Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to launch a full investigation into the events surrounding the death of Wagdy al-Shabi.


Dear President Hadi,

Recently, a journalist named Wagdy al-Shabi died in his home in Yemen. The specifics of his death have yet to be determined. This is why we are asking you to launch a full investigation into the death of this man.

While the Ministry of Defense initially reported his death as being a casualty of militant efforts, his wife’s testimony clearly indicates an opposing recounting of the events leading to al-Shabi’s demise. She stated that her husband was killed by two men, dressed in what appeared to be military attire, in their home. She also stated that her husband has no ties with the militant group that the Ministry of Defense initially reported he was a member of. Clearly, the information necessary to fully realize the events of this man’s demise needs to be extracted through an investigatory process.

Please devote enough investigators and resources towards the inspection of the death of al-Shabi so that we may figure out what truly led to his death.


[Your Name Here]


Photo credit: United Nations

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90 Signatures

  • Lynn Juozilaitis
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