Yemen — A top Yemeni investigative journalist who died under dubious circumstances — while investigating corruption by oil companies — was poisoned, an autopsy now reveals.
Mohammed al-Absi — "whose work explored the corrupt relations between powerful militias and prominent businessmen," reports the New Arab — was having dinner in capital city, Sana'a, with a cousin in December when both had to be rushed to the hospital — and the prominent journalist ultimately died.
Al-Absi's sudden and inexplicable death fueled suspicions among friends and family, as well as from the Yemeni journalists' union — which called for an investigation.
Some speculated al-Absi had suffered a heart attack or other acute condition, but — delaying a proper funeral for three weeks — samples were flown to Jordan for analysis and proved this week the journalist had been poisoned.
Both the Yemeni Journalists' Syndicate and the International Federation of Journalists — which have joined forces to demand an official probe — issued a statement of mourning shortly after al-Absi's untimely death, with IFJ President Philippe Leruth stating,
"We are troubled by the passing of Mohamed al-Absi in such unclear circumstances and support his family and the YJS in their demands for a serious and independent investigation in the case as well as an autopsy by a doctor representing the union to clarify the cause of his death."