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Yemen

    August 17, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs BST  18 August 2015

    Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes and attacks by pro and anti-Huthi armed groups in Ta’iz and Aden in Yemen have killed scores of civilians - including dozens of children – and could amount to war crimes, Amnesty International has revealed in a new briefing published today.

    July 01, 2015

    Posted at 0001hrs GMT  2 July 2015

    New research and weapons analysis by Amnesty International in Yemen bring into sharp focus the high price civilians continue to pay amid the Saudi Arabia-led military coalition’s airstrikes all over the country and demonstrate a failure to abide by the requirements of international humanitarian law.

    Amnesty International researchers investigated eight airstrikes in different parts of the country, including multiple strikes in the capital, Sana’a, on 12 and 13 June and in Tai’z on 16 June. In total, the eight incidents killed 54 civilians (27 children, 16 women and 11 men) including a one-day-old infant, and injured 55, (19 children, 19 women and 17 men).

    May 28, 2015

    Scores of casualties in Sana’a have been caused by anti-aircraft munitions shot by the Huthi armed group which detonated after landing in populated areas killing and maiming civilians, said Amnesty International.

    During a week-long trip to the Yemeni capital, the organization spoke to medical staff at nine hospitals and residents who said that anti-aircraft weapons were the leading cause of casualties in the capital. Saudi Arabian-led coalition airstrikes against weapons depots in residential areas have triggered further explosions, also killing and injuring other civilians.

    “Sana’a’s residents are caught in a deadly crossfire between the Saudi Arabian-led coalition airstrikes and anti-aircraft fire from the Huthi armed group. Both sides have failed to take the necessary precautions to protect civilian lives in violation of the laws of war. Instead they have carried out attacks that have had devastating consequences for the civilian population,” said Lama Fakih, Senior Crisis Advisor at Amnesty International.

    “For the civilians affected, it doesn’t matter which side is responsible. They pay the same price.”

    May 23, 2015

    By Lama Fakih, AMnesty International Crisis Resposne Team. Follow Lama on Twitter @lamamfakih

    As the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen resumed earlier this week, after a brief ceasefire, hospitals across the capital were getting ready to treat an influx of the wounded despite dwindling supplies of medicine and fuel. Doctors were going over detailed lists of needed medications, recruiting volunteer staff, and making black-market deals for overpriced diesel and fuel to keep generators and ambulances running. Some staff were taking up residence in the hospital to avoid the time and cost of travel to and fro.

    But despite their best efforts, the needs of the war wounded far outweigh the services these medical workers can provide. Sanaa’s publicly-run Kuwait Hospital was one of several hospitals where staff said they had to send patients away, because essential equipment had become inoperable without electricity or fuel for generators.

    May 13, 2015

    Evidence gathered by Amnesty International suggests that Huthi forces have carried out indiscriminate mortar attacks on civilians and repeatedly targeted medical workers and facilities in the governorate of Aden.

    Dozens of civilians were killed and injured in an attack on a port in Tawahi, west of Aden city, on 6 May, where a crowd of more than 400 people were waiting to flee the area by boat. Eyewitnesses have told Amnesty International that the mortars used in the attack had been fired from a Huthi- controlled area. Others said Huthi fighters in the area had raided medical clinics and attacked medical workers.

    “Testimony gathered from eyewitnesses in Aden paints a damning picture of the conduct of Huthi forces in and around Aden who appear to have carried out serious human rights abuses,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    May 08, 2015

    New eyewitness testimony gathered by Amnesty International in the aftermath of recent airstrikes in Sana’a points to a repeated failure by the Saudi Arabian-led military coalition to take adequate precautions to prevent civilian deaths in Yemen.

    In the early hours of 1 May an airstrike hit a residential area in the Bab al-Sha’b neighbourhood of Sa’wan, in the east of the capital, killing 17 civilians and injuring 17 others. Amnesty International carried out interviews with local residents and eyewitnesses the following day and heard the horrific experiences of a number of survivors of the airstrike.

    “These harrowing testimonies are a damning indictment of the failure of the Saudi Arabian military and its allies to take adequate steps to ensure civilians are not needlessly slaughtered in their campaign of airstrikes,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Middle East and North Africa Programme Director at Amnesty International.

    “Under international humanitarian law, all parties to the armed conflict have a duty to take certain precautions in planning and carrying out attacks in order to minimize civilian suffering.

    April 24, 2015

    The killing of hundreds of civilians, including scores of children, and the injury of thousands during the relentless Saudi Arabian-led campaign of airstrikes across Yemen must be urgently investigated, said Amnesty International, one month after the strikes began.

    “The month-long campaign of air strikes carried out by Saudi Arabia and its allies has transformed many parts of Yemen into a dangerous place for civilians,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.  

    “Millions of people have been forced to live in a state of utter terror, afraid of being killed at home. Many feel they are left with no choice but to move away from their destroyed villages to an uncertain future.”

    According to the UN more than 550 civilians have been killed including more than 100 children since the military campaign began on 25 March.

    March 31, 2015

    There is growing evidence that the Saudi Arabian-led military coalition is failing to take precautions to prevent civilian deaths amid ongoing airstrikes on sites around Yemen, Amnesty International said, as it confirmed that at least six civilians, including four children, were among 14 people who burned to death in further strikes early this morning.

    The attacks, carried out at around 2 a.m. in Ibb governorate, were apparently targeting a Huthi checkpoint as well as fuel supplies along the road between Yareem and Dhammar. The dead included four children and two women, as well as eight men, but it is unknown if any of those were fighters. At least 31 others were hospitalized with burns and shrapnel wounds.

    “After several days of often intense bombardment in several areas across Yemen, it is becoming increasingly apparent that the Saudi Arabian-led coalition is turning a blind eye to civilian deaths and suffering caused by its military intervention,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    March 26, 2015

    At least six children under the age of 10 were among a reported 25 people killed in Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes in the Yemeni capital Sana’a early this morning, Amnesty International confirmed after speaking to hospital officials and eyewitnesses. 

    The organization spoke to medical personnel at four different hospitals where the dead were taken after being pulled from the rubble of 14 houses that were hit in a residential neighbourhood near the city’s international airport. The rest of those killed were men, mostly in their 30s and 40s. It is believed that more people may still be buried beneath the rubble, and at least 20, including four women, were admitted to hospital with mainly shrapnel injures.

    “This high toll of civilian deaths and injuries in these attacks raises concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law. Saudi Arabian and any other armed forces carrying out airstrikes in Yemen are required to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    March 24, 2015

    The death this morning of at least eight peaceful protesters, shot by members of the Huthi-loyal Yemeni Central Security Forces in Ta’iz, illustrates a shocking disregard for human life as the country descends into chaos, said Amnesty International.

    Doctors working at two hospitals in the city of Ta’iz told Amnesty International that at least another 119 individuals were admitted with injuries inflicted by security forces since anti-Huthi protests began on Sunday. Most were treated for injuries related to tear gas inhalation and at least 38 had gunshot wounds.

    “Human rights in Yemen are in free-fall as even peaceful protest becomes a life-threatening activity,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    “The Huthi leadership must immediately rein in the security forces and armed men under its control and tell them that force must not be used against peaceful protesters. People should not be at risk of death or serious injury for merely voicing their opposition to the Huthi takeover of towns and cities.  

    March 20, 2015

    The suicide bombing of two mosques in Sanaa today, that killed dozens of people and wounded more than 100 others, must be investigated immediately and those responsible brought to justice, said Amnesty International.

    Images broadcast from the scene showed mosque carpets covered in shattered glass and injured people being carried out of the mosques as bodies lay in pools of blood nearby.

    “Attacking people while they are praying in a place of worship shows utter contempt for fundamental principles of humanity. There can be no justification for such attacks,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    “Those who ordered and planned these abominable crimes must be apprehended and brought to justice.”

    The attacks took place at the Badr mosque in southern Sanaa, and the al-Hashoosh mosque in a northern district of the capital just after noon prayers. Both are frequented mostly by Houthi supporters.  

    March 18, 2015

    The Yemeni authorities must set up a prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into today’s despicable killing of leading journalist and activist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani, Amnesty International said.

    According to media reports, unidentified gunmen on a motorbike shot Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani dead near his house in the centre of the capital Sana’a today. A former recipient of Amnesty International UK’s Special Award for Human Rights Journalism under Threat, he had been imprisoned several times and faced years of harassment under former President ‘Ali ‘Abdullah Saleh.

    “Given the history of intimidation and harassment Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani faced for his outspoken journalism and peaceful activism, his despicable killing today smacks of a politically motivated assassination,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    February 16, 2015

    New harrowing testimony collected by Amnesty International experts in Yemen reveal how members of the Huthi armed group are torturing protesters in a bid to dissuade dissent.

    “The Huthi stooped to a dangerous new level of intimidation and violence to strike fear into anyone protesting their rule,” said Donatella Rovera, Senior Crisis Response Adviser at Amnesty International, currently in Yemen.

    “Testimonies reveal how protestors have been detained and tortured for days on end. The safety of all those who dare to speak out against the Huthi rule is on the line.”

    Among those who spoke to Amnesty International are Ali Taher al-Faqih, 34, and ‘Abdeljalil al-Subari, 40, who were seized during a peaceful demonstration in Sana’a on 11 February (held to commemorate the 11 February 2011 uprising). The two men were arrested alongside Salah ‘Awdh al-Bashri, a 35-year-old father of seven, who later died from the injuries he suffered after hours of torture.

    December 15, 2014

    The Yemeni authorities must investigate the killing of a political activist shot dead by security forces during a peaceful protest in the southern city of Aden today, Amnesty International said.  

    Khaled Al-Junaidi, a leading activist in Yemen’s separatist Southern Movement, was leading a strike in the district of Crater when he was ordered out of his car by five masked security officers and shot in the chest.

    “This shocking, deliberate killing appears to be an extrajudicial execution prompted by Khaled Al-Junaidi’s peaceful activism promoting independence for southern Yemen,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Program.

    “The Yemeni authorities have an obligation under international law to ensure that an independent, impartial and prompt investigation into this killing is conducted, and that all those responsible are brought to justice, including anyone who ordered the killing.”

    September 09, 2014

    The killing by government security forces of at least six protesters in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, must be promptly and impartially investigated, said Amnesty International.

    “The gunning down of peaceful protesters in the streets of the capital has heightened fears that the current confrontation there will escalate into a full blown violent conflict,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

    “It is crucial that the authorities respect the right to peaceful protests, refrain from using excessive force to disperse demonstrations, and ensure that anyone responsible for unlawful killings is brought to justice in fair trials.”  

    According to eyewitnesses, at least six people were shot and more than 50 were injured when army units guarding the cabinet building in Sana’a suddenly opened fire on a group of protesters approaching the building.

    One of the protestors described how Yemeni forces opened fire using machine guns and other weaponry:

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