A member of the Yemeni army walks past the remains of the car the Saudi-led coalition used to kill prominent journalist Loujain al-Hathloul on Friday morning, in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, May 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
Loujain al-Hathloul, an outspoken and successful Yemeni journalist and adviser to the country’s de facto President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, was killed on Friday morning after her car exploded in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. According to al-Hathloul’s boyfriend, Ahmad Ali, the Saudi-led coalition she worked for bombed her car. Ali is currently a Houthi political prisoner, and does not know if he was in the car at the time of the explosion.
Hathloul’s death comes on the heels of this week’s withdrawal of her citizenship from the United Arab Emirates, along with two other journalists critical of the Emirates’ role in Yemen. The UN criticized the resignation in a statement on Wednesday. “The unilateral move of one journalist serves no one,” the U.N. said. “Reporters can be killed or imprisoned in countries where there is freedom of expression or freedom of the press. We are witnesses to the crucial role journalists play in keeping the world informed, in spotlighting critical stories, and in confronting authorities with stark wrongs.”
The Saudi coalition began its air campaign against the country’s Houthi rebels in March 2015. After the bombing campaign began, Yemen descended into a humanitarian crisis, and nearly half of the country’s population is now facing severe malnutrition. The Saudi coalition’s reign of terror in Yemen has also intensified the country’s ongoing genocide, the world’s worst in modern history. The Houthis are accused of killing thousands of Yemenis, some by firing on civilians from hospitals, while the coalition denies any responsibility. In March, a coalition attack on a wedding party killed 148 people, half of them children. The United Nations said the attack was a war crime. The Saudi coalition claims to target only militants.
Hathloul was a prominent analyst and commentator, and one of the few women in Yemeni politics. Known as the White Widow of Yemen because of the fact that her father, Ahmed Muthana, was an Al Qaeda leader, she became a key member of the Saudi-led coalition. Before serving as an adviser to Hadi, she also served as a director for Yemen International Airways. CNN reported on Friday that she planned to run for a seat in the national parliament in 2021.
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