Notorious Emirati official Dhahi Khalfan slammed for trying to dox Yemeni journalist

Notorious Emirati official Dhahi Khalfan slammed for trying to dox Yemeni journalist
Emirati official Dhahi Khalfan has been condemned by a Geneva-based human rights group after he asked his three million followers to 'inform' him about a Yemeni journalist.
3 min read
26 August, 2022
Former Dubai police chief Dhahi Khalfan has a history of inflammatory statements [Getty]

Human rights watchdog SAM Organisation for Rights and Liberties has condemned a tweet from senior Emirati security official Dhahi Khalfan which requested information on a Yemeni editor-in-chief after his news site shared a video of Khalfan being confronted over the war in Yemen. 

Khalfan, a former Dubai police chief who has a history of making inflammatory statements online, asked his three million plus Twitter followers on Tuesday to “inform” him about Muhammed Abdul-Malik, editor-in-chief of Yemeni news site Taiz time.

The Emirati’s tweet include a photo of the journalist and accused him of being a member of the Muslim Brotherhood.

The social media threat followed an incident in which Taiz time repost a video of Khalfan being confronted by a Yemeni in Germany over the UAE’s involvement in the war in Yemen, which has led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophes.

The tweet "raises…concern and suspicion that [Malik] may be subjected to assault or persecution in the coming days," wrote SAM in a statement on their website.

The Geneva-based organisation emphasised "that freedom of opinion and expression is guaranteed in the rule of international law, and breaching that right is a clear and unjustified violation".

The original video shared on Taiz Time’s Twitter feed shows Khalfan surrounded by a group of people, with one man telling him, “My country has been destroyed because of you”.

Following the publication of the tweet by Taiz Time, Khalfan tweeted: “This photo is of a journalist claiming that his name is Muhammed Abd al-Malik. Who is he? I request my Yemeni colleagues to inform me about him.” 

Afterwards, the editor-in-chief contacted the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate Council about "the implicit threat by an Emirati security leader," according to an article on Taiz time

Malik said in his statement to the syndicate that he was "surprised" by the Emirati’s tweet and that he would have ignored the issue, however, Khalfan works "within an official security apparatus".

"I hold him responsible for any harassment or harm that I may be exposed to,"  he said.

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The UAE joined the Saudi-led coalition in when it started military operations in Yemen in 2015 in support of the internationally-recognised government, against the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels.

However, it has pursued its own agenda in Yemen, backing southern separatist militias who have clashed with government forces.

Abu Dhabi has substantially reduced the number of its troops in Yemen since 2019, but it still maintains a significant degree of influence via a number of proxy militias.

In recent weeks, dozens of people have been killed in Shabwa province as a result of clashes between militias loyal to the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) and government forces.