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Yemen

    September 28, 2018

    Responding to the United Nations Human Rights Council vote to renew the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts (GEE), which has been investigating violations and abuses of international law committed by all sides in Yemen, Amnesty International’s Senior Advocate Kevin Whelan said:

    “Today’s vote sends a clear signal to all perpetrators of crimes under international law in Yemen that impunity is not an option. All parties to the conflict – including the Saudi and UAE-led coalition, the Yemeni government and the Huthi de facto authorities – must fully cooperate with the UN investigation team and help facilitate their work.

    “This renewal also sends a timely message of support to the Yemeni civilian population, today reeling perhaps more than ever before from the impact of these violations even as they brace themselves for new rounds of violence.”

    Background

    September 18, 2018

    Responding to news that 24 Yemenis from the Baha’i faith - including eight women and a child – are facing charges that could result in death sentences by the Huthi-controlled Specialized Criminal Court in Sana’a, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Research, said:

    “Once again, we are seeing trumped up charges and flagrantly unfair proceedings used to persecute Yemeni Baha’is for their faith. And it is particularly abhorrent that some of these men and women could face the death penalty for their conscientiously held beliefs and peaceful activities.

    “The group, which includes a teenage girl, were charged with various serious offences including espionage for foreign states, some of which can carry the death penalty. The Huthi authorities should drop these bogus charges, release those who are arbitrarily detained and end their abuse of the justice system to punish freedom of belief and persecute political critics, journalists, activists, Baha’is and other minorities.”

    Background

    August 28, 2018

    Responding to a scathing report published today by the United Nations Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen (GEE) which concludes that all parties to the conflict may be guilty of war crimes, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director, said:

    “The GEE, in its first report, confirms what we have known for the past three years, namely that all parties to the conflict in Yemen have acted with utter disregard for civilian lives. The Saudi Arabia-led coalition and allied forces, Huthi and Yemeni government aligned forces have consistently carried out unlawful attacks, restricted access to humanitarian aid, carried out widespread arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, child recruitment and other serious violations that have and continue to inflict unimaginable suffering on Yemen’s civilian population.

    August 16, 2018

    Yemen’s Huthi armed group must reveal the fate and whereabouts of an activist abducted by two of its militants in apparent retaliation for his human rights work, Amnesty International said.

    Kamal al-Shawish, a field research assistant with Mwatana Organization for Human Rights in the city of Hodeidah, was seized on the street by two Huthi armed men on Tuesday. He was blindfolded and taken to an unknown location. His whereabouts remain unknown.

    The activist had documented human rights violations against civilians in Hodeidah prior to his arrest.

    “The worrying abduction of Kamal al-Shawish seems to be part of a sinister pattern of harassment and repression of human rights work in Yemen, committed by all sides to the conflict,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for Research for the Middle East and North Africa.

    “The Huthi armed group must reveal his fate and whereabouts and ensure he is protected from the kind of torture and ill-treatment that has been inflicted on others in its custody. Kamal al-Shawish should be released immediately.”

    June 22, 2018
    The Saudi Arabia-led coalition has continued to impose restrictions on the entry of essential goods into conflict-ravaged Yemen Huthi de facto authorities have excessively delayed the delivery of humanitarian assistance in famine-threatened areas and are said to have asked for bribes The coalition’s tightened restrictions could constitute a war crime

    Millions of lives are at risk because the entry of essential goods such as food, fuel and medical supplies into war-torn Yemen is being restricted by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and their distribution then delayed by the country’s Huthi de facto authorities, Amnesty International warned in a new report released today.

    June 14, 2018

    Responding to reports that Abdulrasheed al-Faqih, the Executive Director of Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, was arrested this morning while on his way to Sey’oun airport in the southern Yemeni city of Mukalla, Samah Hadid, Middle East Campaigns Director at Amnesty International, said:

    “Abdulrasheed al- Faqih is one of Yemen’s most prominent human rights defenders and has worked tirelessly to expose the myriad human rights abuses committed by all parties in Yemen’s brutal conflict. He was arrested this morning by security forces affiliated to the internationally recognized Yemeni government while travelling to seek medical treatment, and we are now extremely concerned for his safety.

    “Unfortunately, Abdulrasheed al-Faqih’s courage and dedication have made him the target of repeated harassment, and prior to his arrest today he was detained by Huthi forces on several occasions. We fear he has been arrested - yet again - solely for his human rights work; and if this is the case he must be released immediately and unconditionally, and allowed to travel and seek the medical treatment that he needs.

    June 13, 2018

    Responding to the news that Yemeni forces backed by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition have launched an offensive on the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Malouf said:

    “The assault on Hodeidah could have a devastating impact for hundreds of thousands of civilians – not just in the city but throughout Yemen.

    “With an estimated 600,000 people living in and around Hodeidah, all sides to the conflict must take all feasible precautions to ensure that the civilian population is protected. 

    “Equally vital is that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and Huthi forces ensure the flow of aid and essential goods isn’t impeded in any way, as millions of people remain at risk of famine across the country.

    “Hodeidah’s port is crucial to a country that is 80% dependent on imports to meet basic necessities. Cutting off this crucial supply line would further exacerbate what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

    June 08, 2018

    In response to a decision by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) to pull 71 staff out of Yemen due to ongoing insecurity, threats and blocks to their work, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Director of Campaigns, said:

    “It is an unquestionably bleak moment when humanitarian workers, who are in Yemen to save lives, are themselves forced to flee in fear for their own lives. Yemeni civilians caught up in war and one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises have just lost a precious lifeline.

    “The ICRC has served victims of armed conflict and violence in Yemen for more than five decades, but its activities have been repeatedly ‘blocked, threatened and directly targeted.’ This is a violation of international humanitarian law. In fact, deliberate attacks on humanitarian relief personnel amount to war crimes.

    March 23, 2018

    A Saudi Arabia-led coalition attack with a US-manufactured bomb, which turned a civilian home into rubble and killed or injured six members of the same family, is the latest in a long string of potential war crimes Amnesty International has documented over the past three years of Yemen’s devastating conflict. 



    Since the coalition’s campaign of airstrikes against the Huthi armed group began on 25 March 2015, Amnesty International has documented how all parties to the conflict have repeatedly violated international law. 



    “Three years on, Yemen’s conflict shows no real signs of abating, and all sides continue to inflict horrific suffering on the civilian population. Schools and hospitals lie in ruins, thousands have lost their lives and millions are displaced and in dire need of humanitarian aid,” said Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research for the Middle East at Amnesty International. 



    February 22, 2018
    Amnesty International publishes State of the World’s Human Rights report for 2017 to 2018 “Last year our world was immersed in crises, with prominent leaders offering us a nightmarish vision of a society blinded by hatred and fear. This emboldened those who promote bigotry, but it inspired far more people to campaign for a more hopeful future,” says Salil Shetty, head of Amnesty International

    The world is reaping the terrifying consequences of hate-filled rhetoric that threatens to normalize massive discrimination against marginalized groups, Amnesty International warned today as it launched its annual assessment of human rights.

    Nevertheless, the organization found that a growing movement of both first-time and seasoned activists campaigning for social justice provides real hope of reversing the slide towards oppression.

    The report, The State of the World’s Human Rights, covers 159 countries and delivers the most comprehensive analysis of the state of human rights in the world today.

    January 26, 2018

    Responding to reports that at least 30 Somali and Ethiopian refugees and migrants drowned after leaving the coast of south-western Yemen to flee back to Africa, Lynn Maalouf, Director of Research for the Middle East at Amnesty International, said:

    “This heart-breaking tragedy underscores, yet again, just how devastating Yemen’s conflict continues to be for civilians. Amid ongoing hostilities and crushing restrictions imposed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, many people who came to Yemen to flee conflict and repression elsewhere are now being forced yet again to flee in search of safety. Some are dying in the process.

    January 03, 2018

    Responding to the news that Huthi authorities sentenced 52-year-old Yemeni prisoner of conscience Hamid Haydara to death for allegedly collaborating with Israel and forging official documents, Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Research and Advocacy Director said:

    “The Huthi authorities must immediately quash the death sentence against Hamid Haydara. He is a prisoner of conscience who has been tried on account of his conscientiously held beliefs and peaceful activities as a member of the Baha’i community.

    “This sentence is the result of a fundamentally flawed process, including trumped up charges, an unfair trial and credible allegations that Hamid Haydara was tortured and ill-treated in custody. It is also part of a wider crackdown on critics, journalists, human rights defenders and members of the Baha’i community that is causing entire families to live in fear for their safety and the safety of their loved ones.

    November 17, 2017

    The USA, UK and France must immediately cease supplying arms to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen, which is impeding humanitarian assistance, including items indispensable to the survival of civilians, said Amnesty International today. According to the UN and humanitarian agencies food and medicine are being blocked and vital supplies will run out in a matter of weeks.

    Since the Saudi Arabia-led coalition tightened the blockade after a missile was fired at Riyadh, 29 ships carrying essential supplies have been prevented by the coalition from reaching Hodeidah port. Mitigating measures announced by the coalition, such as opening Aden’s port, are woefully inadequate to meet humanitarian needs. More than 20 million people are now living in dire need of assistance.

    “The looming prospect of famine is becoming a reality because of the new restrictions by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which appear to amount to collective punishment of Yemen’s civilians,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    October 06, 2017

    The international community has caved in to political pressure again, underplaying the suffering of hundreds of Yemeni children, by watering down criticism of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition’s grave violations of international law in the UN Secretary General’s annual Children and armed conflict report (CAAC), said Amnesty International.

    “Every time the United Nations makes concessions that allow perpetrators of crimes under international law to evade criticism or justice, it emboldens others to commit violations that cause immense misery to people around the world,” said Sherine Tadros, Head of UN office in New York for Amnesty International.

    “While we welcome the overdue listing of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in the CAAC report, it is a shame that the UN caved in to pressure and included it in a new category specifically designed to limit condemnation of the coalition.”

    As a result of diplomatic pressure from Saudi Arabia, the report - which covers the year 2016 - contains a new category that acknowledges the efforts of the coalition to “put in place measures during the reporting period to improve the protection of children”.

    September 29, 2017

    A resolution passed by the UN Human Rights Council today, mandating a group of international experts to investigate abuses by all parties to the conflict in Yemen, is a momentous breakthrough that will pave the way for justice for countless victims of human rights abuses and grave violations of international law, including war crimes, said Amnesty International.

    The resolution was passed today by consensus, after intensive negotiations. It is the result of years of campaigning and lobbying by Yemeni human rights organizations as well as Amnesty International and other international organizations.

    “This resolution is a victory for Yemenis whose suffering at the hands of all parties to the conflict in Yemen has been overlooked by the international community. The resolution offers hope for those seeking justice and can serve as a stepping stone towards accountability,” said Anna Neistat, Amnesty International’s Senior Director for Research.

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