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Jamal Ahmad al-Sharabi, (Arabic: جمال احمد الشرعبي, c. 1976 – 18 March 2011) was a Yemeni photojournalist with the independent weekly, Al-Masdar, in Sana'a, Yemen.

Jamal al-Sharabi
جمال الشرعبي
Bornc. 1976
DiedMarch 18, 2011

Jamal al-Sharabi was the first journalist in Yemen to die while covering the 2011–2012 Yemeni revolution, which were part of the Arab Spring.[1] He was one of 50 who were killed by Yemeni security forces, and 600 others were injured, during a demonstration against President Ali Abdullah Saleh held on March 18, 2011.[2][3]



Jamal al-Sharabi was thirty-five years old and he was a father to four children.[4]


Jamal al-Sharaabi was employed as a photographer for the independent weekly newspaper, Al-Masdar.[5]


Jamal al-Sharabi was killed in the capital city Sana'a, Yemen.

Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi was shot when authorities fired on the protesters in Sana'a on Change Square, in the capital of Yemen, while he was reporting on the scene.[6] Many of the dead were shot in the neck and head, with the bodies being left in the streets.[1]

Events leading up to his deathEdit

External video
  Raw Video: Yemeni Forces Open Fire on Protesters on YouTube

At least 45 anti-government protesters died and over 200 were injured as unidentified gunmen opened fire on them in Sana'a.[7][8][9][10][11] Jamal al-Sharabi, a thirty-five-year-old Yemeni photojournalist, was killed in the attack, marking the first journalist death of the protests.[12]

Sniper fire was also reported.[13] It has been reported that the attackers were pro-government gunmen, though Saleh said that his security forces did not open fire and were even unarmed at the time.[14] There are also reports that some of the protesters who were injured in the attack were taken away in national security vehicles to a local prison for treatment instead of to a regular hospital, sparking fears that the injured will be further harassed.[15] Tens of thousands of people also took to the streets in other cities across the country.[16]

Saleh declared a state of emergency across the country,[10] while state media blamed the violence on "clashes among citizens." The Common Forum, a coalition of the opposition parties led by Ali Mohammed al-Sabry, condemned the shootings.

The Washington Post reported that US President Barack Obama and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French President Nicolas Sarkozy had condemned the attack.[15][17]


Irina Bokova, director-general of UNESCO expressed great disapproval for the death of Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi during the attack that killed and injured of dozens of unarmed civilians on March 18, 2011. Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi was among the first to be shot in front of the capital while covering a crowd of protesters. Irina Bokova said, "The killing of Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi is an attack against the basic human right of the people of Yemen to freedom of expression." He continued by saying, "It is the duty of the authorities to ensure that journalists are able to carry out their professional duties in the safest possible conditions."[6] In the year following the attacks the former president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, threatened to arrest the Prime Minister Mohammed Salem Basindawa because of their differences in how the regime should be run. As a result, this has continued to increase tension between the new and former Yemeni regimes.[18]


As a reaction to Friday's government violence against the protesters, Yemen is now in a state of emergency.[19]

The U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, said the Yemeni people deserve the right to demonstrate peacefully, to freely assemble, and to express themselves without fear of being harmed.[19] And United States President Barack Obama said he deplored the unrest in Yemen and mentioned that an international investigation was needed.[19]

Even in the past, Ann Cooper, the executive director of CPJ, urged the Yemeni government to publicly condemn these types of brutal attacks against the media. She believes it is extremely important that law enforcement holds a proper investigation into such events in order for more there to be more accountability to the law.[20]


  1. ^ a b "Deadly Protests Continue In Yemen Despite Power Transfer". National Public Radio. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  2. ^ Al Qadhi, Mohammed (March 20, 2011). "Killings galvanise Yemeni opposition". The National. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
  3. ^ "In Yemen, a journalist fatally shot, another injured". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  4. ^ "Jamal al-Sharaabi". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  5. ^ "Hamas attacks Gaza news bureaus; Yemen ousts reporters". International Freedom of Expression Exchange. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  6. ^ a b "Director-General deplores killing of Yemeni journalist Jamal Ahmed al-Sharabi in Sanaa protests". UNESCO. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  7. ^ "Yemen Unrest: 'Dozens Killed' as Gunmen Target Rally". BBC News. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  8. ^ Staff (18 March 2011). "Doctors in Yemen Have Told the BBC That Unidentified Gunmen Fired on an Anti-Government Rally in the Capital, Sanaa". BBC News. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  9. ^ Finn, Tom (18 March 2011). "45 Protesters Killed in Yemen". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 19 March 2011. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  10. ^ a b "Yemen Forces 'Open Fire on Protesters'". BBC News. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  11. ^ Al-Azak, Mohamed; Qiuyun, Wang (18 March 2011). "41 Dead, 200 Injured as Yemen Police Shoot at Protesters". Xinhua. Archived from the original on 21 March 2011. Retrieved 18 March 2011.
  12. ^ "Police Storm Protest Camp In Yemen". National Public Radio. 18 March 2011. Retrieved 24 April 2012.
  13. ^ Moran, Lee (20 September 2011). "Death of the innocents: Toll doubles to more than 50 as government snipers fire on children in protest to oust Yemen president". Daily Mail. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  14. ^ Almasmari, Hakim (13 March 2011). "Protesters Killed in Yemen's Capital by". The Washington Post. Retrieved 21 March 2011.
  15. ^ a b Almasmar, Hakim (18 March 2011). "Yemen Imposes State of Emergency after Deadly Attack on Protesters". The Washington Post. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  16. ^ Kasinof, Laura (September 2, 2011). "Protesters in Yemen Vow to Stay on Streets". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 December 2014.
  17. ^ Love, Brian (18 March 2011). "France Strongly Condemns Yemen Attack on Protesters". Reuters. Retrieved 19 March 2011.
  18. ^ "Media War Between Saleh and New Regime". Yemen Times. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  19. ^ a b c "Yemen Declares State of Emergency After Deadliest Day Since Protests Began". Bloomberg. Retrieved 21 March 2012.
  20. ^ "CPJ urges Yemeni president to take action against attacks". Committee to Protect Journalists. Retrieved 21 March 2012.