SANA’A – Abdulsalam Jaber, the former Minister of Information in the National Salvation Government of Yemen who defected to the Saudi-led invaders a few days ago, was hit by a shoe thrown at his face in Riyadh during the first press conference he gave after betraying his country.
On Saturday, Saudi regime broadcaster Al-Arabiya reported that Abdulsalam Jaber had defected to the Saudis. Jaber, who held the position of Information Minister in the National Salvation Government of Yemen prior to his defection, used to be member of the South Yemen Movement. While much of the separatist movement in southern Yemen has been employed as mercenaries by the Saudi and UAE invasion forces, many others took the invitation of the revolutionary government in Sana’a to form a coalition government.
The National Salvation Government of Yemen consists out of a coalition of numerous political parties and movements, including Ansarullah (referred to in Western media as “Houthis”), as well as representatives from various Yemeni tribes, trade unions and professional organisations.
Sources reported by Saudi media, however, state that Jaber fulfilled no major position during his tenure as minister in Yemen, and was described as “a tool”. Nevertheless, the Saudi media announced with great anticipation the press conference that the defector would be giving in Riyadh earlier this morning.
Video footage from the event, shown below, show Abdulsalam Jaber speaking to assembled journalists, before suddenly being hit by a shoe thrown by a member of the audience. Jaber, visibly shocked, does not immediately respond to the shoe throwing, while a loud discussion erupts in the audience. After a short time of arguments and confusion, the live broadcast was cut off, showing a “No input signal” message.
Throwing shoes is a sign of contempt and anger in the Islamic and Arab world, being used regularly against impopular politicians. The most famous example was when Iraqi journalist Muntadhar al-Zaidi threw his shoes at then US president George W. Bush on December 14, 2008.
تعرض وزير الاعلام المنشق للاهانة في الرياض pic.twitter.com/t2I0h1LkKU
— Emad Yahya (@almarshahi1) November 11, 2018