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Yemen

    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.

    October 27, 2015

    The apparently deliberate targeting and destruction of a hospital supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in northern Yemen last night, which may amount to a war crime, demands an urgent, independent and thorough investigation, Amnesty International said today.

    According to sources on the ground, at around 11.30 pm on 26 October the Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces allegedly carried out up to six consecutive airstrikes on Haydan Hospital, located in the Haydan Directorate in Sa’da governorate. The hospital had more than 20 people inside at the time, including three patients and various medical and other staff members. Seven staff members were injured, but could not be taken to another hospital 60km away in Sa’da until 7am due to fears of further strikes.
     
    “The attack on Haydan Hospital appears to have been an unlawful attack causing harm to civilians and civilian objects. The consecutive airstrikes show deliberate targeting of the medical facility - this is another sad day for civilians,” said Philip Luther, Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

    October 06, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs BST  7 October 2015

    Damning evidence of war crimes by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which is armed by states including the USA, highlights the urgent need for independent, effective investigation of violations and for the suspension of transfers of certain arms, said Amnesty International in a new report published today. 

    ‘Bombs fall from the sky day and night’: Civilians under fire in northern Yemen examines 13 deadly airstrikes by the coalition in Sa’da, north-eastern Yemen, which killed some 100 civilians, including 59 children. It also documents the use of internationally banned cluster bombs. 

    “This report uncovers yet more evidence of unlawful airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, some of which amount to war crimes. It demonstrates in harrowing detail how crucial it is to stop arms being used to commit serious violations of this kind,” said Donatella Rovera, Amnesty International’s Senior Crisis Response Adviser who headed the organization’s fact-finding mission to Yemen.

    October 02, 2015

    The UN Human Rights Council’s failure to open an international investigation into violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights law, committed as part of the devastating conflict in Yemen marks a dark day, said Amnesty International.

    The Council today adopted a resolution tabled by Saudi Arabia on behalf of Arab states involved in the conflict and the Yemeni government of Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which fails to establish an international mechanism to investigate such violations and abuses by parties to the conflict.

    “This resolution reflects a shocking failure by the Human Rights Council to meet its obligation to ensure justice and accountability, and sends a message that the international community is not serious about ending the suffering of civilians in Yemen,” said James Lynch, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    “It was drafted by Saudi Arabia, which is leading the military coalition that has itself committed serious violations of international law in Yemen, with evidence pointing to war crimes.”

    September 25, 2015

    By Rasha Mohamed, Yemen Researcher at Amnesty International. Follow Rasha on Twitter @RashaMoh2

    Anguish, frustration, grief, helplessness, seething anger.

    A mixture of all those emotions washed over me as I stood next to Mohamed an hour after an airstrike had destroyed his house in Sana’a, the capital of Yemen. They left me dumbstruck. He was grief stricken and equally speechless as he sat in front of the rubble of his house in his undergarments, his face smeared with blood and dust.

    Mohamed had just lost his eight-year-old son Sami in a Saudi-led coalition forces airstrike an hour before I arrived on the scene, on 2 July. His 14-year-old daughter Sheikha and six-year-old son Hamoodi were still alive at the time, but trapped under the rubble. I stepped into the skeletal structure that once was their home, and followed the sound of the heaving and hoeing of men hard at work with levers. Six men were struggling to budge a huge fallen roof slab, under which Sheikha and Hamoodi were pinned. They were calling out their names in vain.

    September 25, 2015

    The international community must use the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Council to establish an investigation into violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights abuses committed by all sides in Yemen, said Amnesty International six months after the country’s descent into a bloody conflict.

    The organization is urging the creation of a UN Commission of Inquiry into violations and abuses committed by all parties to the Yemen conflict, at the current Human Rights Council session in Geneva which concludes on 2 October.

    More than 2,100 civilians, including at least 400 children, have been killed in the conflict. Across the country, a desperate humanitarian crisis is escalating and more than 1.4 million people have been displaced from their homes. 

    “In the six months since the Saudi Arabia-led coalition began their campaign in Yemen, all sides have displayed a callous disregard for civilian life,” said James Lynch, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director at Amnesty International.

    August 19, 2015

    The undersigned organizations call on the United Nations Human Rights Council to create an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law by all relevant parties since September 2014 when the Houthi armed group took control of Sana’a, the Yemen capital. 

    On March 26, 2015, a Saudi-led coalition launched an air campaign against the Houthi forces. Since then, parties to the conflict have committed serious violations of international law, some of which may amount to war crimes.

    The Saudi-led coalition has conducted indiscriminate airstrikes in violation of international humanitarian law that have killed scores of civilians and hit civilian objects and infrastructure. On July 24, for example, coalition airplanes repeatedly struck two residential compounds of the Mokha Steam Power Plant. These strikes alone killed at least 65 civilians, including 10 children. 

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