Murder of Yemeni-American in Lahj sparks outrage


September 11, 2021


  • Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed ordered the authorities in Lahj to launch an urgent probe into the killing

Abdul-Malek Al-Sanabani was found dead one day after returning to Yemen to see his family, he is seen here in a video posted on Facebook on 7 September (Screengrab/Facebook)


By Saeed Al-Batati | Arab News


AL-MUKALLA – The death of a Yemeni-American man in the war-torn country’s province of Lahj has prompted outrage from senior politicians and ordinary citizens.

Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani, a 30-year-old Yemeni expatriate living in the US, was reportedly attacked, robbed and later murdered by soldiers loyal to the separatist Southern Transitional Council on Wednesday at a checkpoint in Tour Al-Baha district.

Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed ordered the authorities in Lahj to launch an urgent probe into the killing of Al-Sanabani, official news agency SABA reported, adding he had spoken Lahj Gov. Ahmed Al-Turki to bring the killers to justice.

Attorney General Ahmed Al-Mosai, meanwhile, issued orders to the chief of the Specialized Criminal Court in Aden to take action against those responsible

Al-Sanabani had returned to Yemen via Aden airport last week to visit his family in Dhamar province.

On Wednesday, Al-Ayyam newspaper, an Aden-based media outlet affiliated with the STC, first reported that soldiers at Tour Al-Baha arrested a suspected Houthi figure allegedly taking pictures of military sites.

An image attached to the story showed three soldiers in civilian clothes handcuffing the man who, it later transpired, was Al-Sanabani.

Following strong criticism of the paper’s coverage of the case, the newspaper on Saturday published an apology to his family for describing him as a member of the group.

STC leader Aidarous Al-Zubaidi also ordered a committee to look into the death of Al-Sanabani and suspended the soldiers who were manning the checkpoint at the time of the incident, separatist media said.

Al-Sanabani’s death triggered anger from inside and outside Yemen, as people from all walks fo life called for the killers to Brough to justice, and for the the unification of military units under state control, and an end to harassment of travelers at checkpoints.

Abdul Nasir Al-Muwadea, a Yemeni commentator, said the killing of Al-Sanabani had united Yemenis in calling for tough punishment against the perpetrators.

“Public condemnations of the murder of Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani from all Yemenis are a living testimony to the strong collective spirit that binds (them),” Al-Muwadea said.

Brig. Khaled Al-Nasi, a Yemeni military analyst, called for the revamping and unification of security units in the liberated provinces, and for prosecutions to be brought against commanders of checkpoints who allowed or encouraged harassment.

“What happened to Abdul Malik Al-Sanabani is a condemned terrorist act and the leaders must be held accountable before the soldiers. What happened was systematic errors, not individual errors,” Al-Nasi said on Twitter.

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