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Yemen

    September 13, 2016

    As the latest session of the Human Rights Council Session opens today Amnesty International is calling on states not to support anything short of an independent, investigation into the conflict in Yemen. Last year states failed to support such a move, instead adopting a watered-down resolution spearheaded by Saudi Arabia supporting the newly established national commission as the mechanism to investigate violations. So far this commission’s working methods suggest it will struggle to either establish truth or facilitate justice.

    August 29, 2016

    By Rasha Mohamed and Rasha Abdul Rahim

    The airstrike on Abs Rural Hospital in Yemen's Hajjah governorate on 15 August was the fourth attack on a Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) hospital in 10 months. That didn't lessen the shock.

    Sixteen-year-old ambulance driver Ayman Issa Bakri was among the 10 dead. He had been working there since MSF began supporting the hospital in the summer of 2015. When his body was found near the impact site, he was still holding the woman he had been transferring from the ambulance to the A&E.

    Shortly after, MSF announced it was winding up its operations in Yemen; it is hard to imagine the despair that Yemenis feel when the only hospital for miles disappears.

    At the site of the ruined hospital, Amnesty International identified remnants of bombs that appear to have been manufactured either in the USA or the UK. This would be consistent with what we know about prolific arms exports by these countries to Saudi Arabia and other members of its military coalition.

    August 17, 2016

    The Huthi armed group in control of parts of Yemen must immediately ensure the release of all 27 members of the Bahá’í religion who have been detained in the capital, Sana’a, for a week without charge, in a blatant case of persecution of a minority faith, Amnesty International said today.

    Armed officers in balaclavas from Yemen’s National Security Bureau (NSB) intelligence agency, which works hand in hand with the armed Huthi authorities, stormed a Bahá’í youth workshop in Sana’a on 10 August and arrested 65 people, including 14 women and six people under 18 without an arrest warrant. Further arrests were carried out yesterday.

    “The arbitrary arrests of Bahá’í people for doing nothing more than attending a peaceful community event is completely unjustifiable. It is just the latest example of authorities’ persecution of minority faiths,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    August 15, 2016

    The Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s aerial bombardment of a hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Yemen is an atrocious attack that could amount to a war crime, Amnesty International said today.  The Abs Rural Hospital which was hit at around 3:30pm local time, has treated 4,611 patients since MSF began to support it in July 2015.

    “The bombardment of this hospital is a deplorable act that has cost civilian lives, including medical staff who are dedicated to helping sick and injured people under some of the most challenging conditions. Deliberately targeting medical facilities is a serious violation of international humanitarian law which would amount to a war crime. The circumstances of this attack must be thoroughly and independently investigated,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    “Today’s air strike appears to be the latest in a string of unlawful attacks targeting hospitals highlighting an alarming pattern of disregard for civilian life.”

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    July 26, 2016

    Restrictions on the delivery of vital humanitarian aid to civilians in Yemen are exacerbating the country’s humanitarian crisis and endangering lives, said Amnesty International calling on all parties to the conflict to allow full and unfettered access to organizations providing crucial supplies.

    A delegation from the organization visited Huthi-controlled parts of Yemen in May 2016 and spoke to 11 local and international humanitarian aid organizations who described unlawful restrictions on aid by both Huthi and Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces. The organization is urging that the removal of impediments to aid delivery is given top priority at the peace talks currently underway in Kuwait before they conclude this week. 

    “Unlawful impediments to aid in Yemen are causing dreadful suffering, and depriving people of their basic needs in the midst of an active conflict. It is absolutely imperative that negotiators prioritize this issue and take steps to guarantee aid is getting to those who need it most and that aid workers and their operations are not targeted or harassed,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.

    June 06, 2016

    In May 2016, Amnesty International researchers investigated the remains of a partially detonated UK-manufactured BL-755 cluster munition in a demining centre in northern Yemen. Questions have been raised over whether the cluster munition could have been used during a former Yemen conflict. The following evidence explains the circumstances and condition in which the cluster munition was found, underpinning Amnesty International’s conclusion that this cluster munition was used during the current (2015-16) Yemen conflict by a member of the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition.

    The UK-manufactured cluster munition could not have been used in a previous conflict as previous conflicts did not target the area involved.

    Amnesty International has documented the use of six types of cluster bombs by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen since March 2015. Meanwhile, Human Rights Watch has also documented the use of cluster munitions in Yemen since the start of the conflict in March 2015.

    May 23, 2016
      16 new civilian casualties, including nine children, documented in aftermath of Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s cluster bomb use   Internally displaced people returning home to de facto ‘minefields’   Use of US, UK and Brazilian-made cluster munitions documented   Urgent need for international demining assistance

    Children and their families returning home in northern Yemen after a year of conflict are at grave risk of serious injury and death from thousands of unexploded cluster bomb submunitions, Amnesty International said, following a 10-day research trip to Sa’da, Hajjah, and Sana’a governorates.

     International assistance is urgently needed to clear contaminated areas and countries with influence should urge the Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces to stop using cluster munitions, which are internationally banned and inherently indiscriminate.

    May 17, 2016

    Released  00:01 GMT Wednesday 18 May 2016

    The Huthi armed group, supported by state security forces, has carried out a wave of arrests of its opponents, arbitrarily seizing critics at gunpoint and subjecting some to enforced disappearance as part of a chilling campaign to quash dissent in areas of Yemen under its control, said Amnesty International in a new report published today.

    Where is my father? Detention and disappearance in Huthi-controlled Yemen, which is based on 60 cases of detention examined in detail by the organization, reveals a pattern of arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearances in Sana’a, Ibb, Ta’iz and Hodeidah between December 2014 and March 2016. Those targeted include political opposition figures, human rights defenders, journalists, academics and others. Many have been held incommunicado for prolonged periods, suffered torture and other ill-treatment and been denied access to a lawyer or their family.

    March 21, 2016

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT   22 March 2016

    States – including the USA and the UK – must halt all transfers of arms for use in the Yemen conflict in order to stop the fuelling of serious violations that have had devastating consequences for civilians, said Amnesty International today, almost a year since the conflict began.

    More than 3,000 civilians including 700 children have been killed and at least 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes over the past year. At least 83% of the country’s population are also in dire need of humanitarian aid.

    “One year on, the international community’s response to the conflict in Yemen has been deeply cynical and utterly shameful,” said James Lynch, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    February 28, 2016

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT   29 February 2016

    Escalating violations, including possible war crimes, that have sparked a humanitarian crisis amid Yemen’s armed conflict will only worsen unless all states immediately impose a comprehensive embargo on arms transfers that could be used by any of the warring parties, Amnesty International warned today as a meeting on the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) got under way in Geneva.

    ATT States Parties and signatories are among those who continue to supply weapons to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners for use in Yemen – in brazen violation of the treaty, in particular its human rights provisions. Arms have also been diverted into the hands of Huthi and other armed groups fighting in Yemen.

    February 09, 2016

    The Huthi armed group and forces allied to it are endangering the lives of thousands of civilians in the southern city of Ta’iz by blocking the entry of crucial medical supplies and food over the past three months, in blatant violation of international humanitarian law, said Amnesty International.

    Testimony gathered by the organization from 22 residents and medical staff living in Yemen’s third largest city paints an alarming picture of civilian suffering and hardship. Most of the city’s hospitals have shut down and the few that remain open are on the verge of collapse due to a lack of supplies. One resident’s new-born baby died hours after he was born because of severe oxygen shortages at the city’s hospitals.

    “The Huthi forces appear to be deliberately barring the entry of civilian goods, including vital medical supplies and food, fuelling a humanitarian crisis with devastating consequences for residents of Ta’iz,” said James Lynch, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    December 10, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  11 December 2015

    Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have carried out a series of air strikes targeting schools that were still in use, in violation of international humanitarian law, and hampering access to education for thousands of Yemen’s children, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today. The coalition forces are armed by states including the USA and UK.

    The briefing ‘Our kids are bombed’: Schools under attack in Yemen, investigates five air strikes on schools which took place between August and October 2015 killing five civilians and injuring at least 14, including four children, based on field research in Yemen. While students were not present inside the schools during the attacks, the strikes caused serious damage or destruction which will have long-term consequences for students.

    December 01, 2015

    NGOs and human rights defenders have come under increased scrutiny and pressure from the Huthi armed group in areas of Yemen under its control over the past six months, said Amnesty International in a new statement published today.

    At least 27 NGOs have been raided and shut down since the Huthi armed group took control of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and human rights activists have reported coming under increased monitoring from the group and even received death threats towards their family members.

    “By harassing and intimidating human rights defenders and shutting down NGOs the Huthi armed group is fuelling a climate of repression and sending a clear message that dissenting voices will not be tolerated in areas under its control,” said James Lynch, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director for Amnesty International.

    November 25, 2015

    UK should stop selling air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia-led forces

    The Saudi Arabia-led coalition used a British-made missile to destroy a Yemeni ceramics factory, a civilian object, on 23 September, 2015, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said today, based on field research and interviews with eyewitnesses at the scene.

    The attack on the factory in the Sana’a governorate, which appeared to be producing only civilian goods, killed one person, and was in apparent violation of international humanitarian law (IHL), the laws of war.

    This strike, using a British missile supplied in the 1990s, undermines the claim of Ministers that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s use of UK military equipment is consistent with IHL, and that the UK monitors such compliance “very carefully”. The organizations are unaware of any credible coalition investigation into this or other apparently unlawful airstrikes for possible IHL violations.

    October 30, 2015

    Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces appear to have used a Brazilian variant of internationally banned cluster munitions on a residential neighbourhood in Ahma  in Sa’da, northern Yemen, this week, wounding at least four people and leaving dangerous unexploded submunitions strewn around the surrounding farmland, Amnesty International said today.

    The organization interviewed a number of local residents including two victims, the medical personnel treating them, an eyewitness and a local activist who visited the site shortly after the attack. Unexploded “duds” pictured at the attack site bear similarities to Brazilian-manufactured cluster bombs Saudi Arabia is known to have used in the past.

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