A sniper’s bullet scatters the intestines of a food aid activist in Taiz

Context of the story

Free Media/Violation Case Summary

✓Riham Abdulwase Badr

✓Violation time: February 8, 2018

✓Place of violation: Taiz Governorate

✓Violation type: Killing

✓The perpetrator of the violation: the Houthi group ‘Ansar Allah’.

On this day, February 8, 2018, Riham Abdulwase Badr, 32, a social  human rights activist and societal journalist, adopted a courageous initiative with a group of youth volunteers , to break the siege on a group of residents east of the city of Taiz, and to provide them with food aids.

In fact, the residents of Ab’ar, Al-Sarmin and Al-Krifat areas east of Taiz city were besieged, after the intensification of armed battles between the army forces of the internationally recognized government and the militants of the Houthi group “Ansar Allah”. As a result, the local people were unable to get the essential things of life, food and water.

Al-Badr and her accompanying team did managed to break the siege, and after distributing the aids, the team did not return to the city as a whole , for two of them were killed on the way, including Riham Al-Badr.

According to the interviews we conducted, with eyewitnesses or activists who accompanied Riham, in the food aid convoy intended for the besieged people , Riham and her five-members team arrived at Sala Palace, east of the city at nine o’clock in the morning. The situation was stable, so Riham decided to go through the only road connected to the besieged areas, at the course of the floods in Ab’ar area. The team was subjected to an abnormal shooting from the position of the Ansar Allah group (Houthis).

Ahmed Othman, the only one of the team who was not hit by a gunshot, said: “We were a group of activists, human rights defenders and media professionals, our work in the humanitarian field is clear, we do not have weapons, and Riham Al-Badr was clearly a woman through her dress and clothes. Things were very clear to the Houthi fighters deployed in the high areas overlooking the road we took.”

The Houthis fired heavily on Riham and her team, forcing them to enter the course of the floods for shelter. After the sound of gunfire was quiet , the team was able to reach the residents and distribute aids, after that, Riham decided to return to the city,Ahmed Othman confirms: «We were walking on the way back, the situation was completely calm, there was no shooting, we walked while my colleagues Riham Al-Badr, Moamen Saeed and I were talking, suddenly a 7.12 caliber bullet blew Momen’s head into pieces. A second shot hit his hand, both hands damaged in the second shot. Because of fear and horrible situation I found myself lying on the ground, and when Riham tried to do first aid for colleague Moamen Saeed, a gunshot penetrated her abdomen and the intestines came out. The shot also amputated two fingers from her left hand. I could not do anything for them, I tried to crawl towards them, but a shot came the wall and shrapnel flew in the air, the sniper was shooting at us continuously, preventing any attempts to save us»

Reham was killed

»Free Media for investigative journalism calls on fellow journalists, activists and human rights organizations to advocate for the cases of Yemeni journalists and activists who have been subjected to violations in the past years, and to work to activate justice and hold the perpetrators of these violations accountable.