06 January 2017

Yemeni woman who campaigned for female literacy shot dead

A charity worker who campaigned for female emancipation in Yemen has been shot dead in an assassination attempt that has left other activists in the city of Taiz fearing for their own safety.

Amat al-Aleem al-Asbahi, who worked to improve female literacy in the war-torn country, was killed on 25 December by two motorcycle riders as she walked on a busy street in the city centre.

A fatwa issued by Islamic scholar Abdullah al-Odaini in September, banning women activists from mixing with men, had already curtailed Ms Asbahi and the aid community’s work, as has fierce air strikes and other violence.

All sides in Yemen’s civil war condemned the attack, but no party has claimed responsibility. Several sources have blamed the Yemeni-government allied Popular Resistance group, with which Mr Odaini is affiliated, but the group has denied the allegation.

No one has been arrested in connection to the murder and Middle East Eye reports that local journalists have stayed away from the story for fear of retribution. [The Independent] Read more