Prominent Yemeni political activist Hani Al-Junid, received a death threat in his Facebook message inbox. The activist, who doubles as a reporter for Al-Sharae independent local newspaper, says the threat, which he takes seriously, was made by an anonymous person.
The threat, on December 21, warned that Al-Junid's “termination is soon.” Al-Junid is well-known for his political activism against General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, commander of the army's 1st Armoured Division's attack on Sana'a University and the Al-Arateet rally. Most importantly, he is known for his sarcastic, secular, socialist writings [ar].
The threatening message says [ar]:
“نهايتك قريبة. وحياة امك ماتفلت. والله مانخليك الا تجس مشلول في البيت. ماتقدر ترفع ايد ولاتحرك رجل. كلام انتهى. رصاصة في العمود الفقري وانتهى امرك”
Your end is soon. You will not escape it. We swear to God that we will make you sit at home paralyzed and you would be not able to move an arm or a leg. Period. One bullet in your spine and you would be over.”
Once Al-Junid got the threat, he posted its screenshot on his Facebook wall. He wrote:
“هذا الشخص ليس صديقي في الفيس بوك ولا اعرفه، ودخل فجئة يكلمني أنه بردان ويشتي خمر. أنا قلت له أن عليه التواصل مع علي محسن الأحمر، أو عبدالوهاب طواف كونهم المهربين الوحيدين لهذا الأمر، تحدثنا قليلا وعندما توقفت عن الحديث معه افصح عن الرسالة التي كلف بها وهي تهديدي أن نهايتي باتت قريبه.”
This person is not my friend and I don't know him at all. He started messaging me that he was cold and wanted wine. I told him that he should contact Ali Mohsen and Abdelwahab Tawaf, as they are the only smugglers of wine. After a while, he stated that my end is soon.”
The activist has always stated that such tactics to silence him will never scare him. He explained:
“بصراحة تصلني تهديدات بين وقت وآخر لكني لا اعيرها أي اهتمام، بس هذه المرة شعرت أن الأمر جدي، وأحب أن اقول لهذا المسخ أن تهديده لم يخيفني وانا مستعد للتضحية”
Honestly, I receive threats every once in a while but I never care about them. However, this time I sense that it's serious. And I'd like to tell this bastard that his threat won't scare me and I'm ready to sacrifice myself.”
While Yemen after the 2011 uprising enjoys greater freedom of expression, this new found freedom had been tempered by the rise of such incidences of threats and violence against the media. This incident for Al-Junid is one in a spate of attacks and other threats media groups receive. Al-Junid has been physically assaulted by a group of unknown men after he left a demonstration at Sana'a University demanding an end to its occupation by the military in October 2012.