The need to protect human rights in Yemen


With no end to the humanitarian threat posed by the Houthi rebel militia, the Yemeni Ministry of Human Rights has published a Preliminary Report on the Human Rights Situation in Yemen. The comprehensive report, composed by the Ministry’s Leadership Council, details the extent of human suffering in Yemen in two years between January 2015 and January 2017, covering the Houthis’ countless breaches of international humanitarian law, be it the targeting of civilians, the recruitment, maiming and killing of children, the denial of education and healthcare or the oppression of basic freedoms.

Yemen’s legitimate President Marshal Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in his foreword to the report, condemns the Houthi and Saleh-supporting militia that have “taken Yemen into a meaningless war, and destroyed its social fabric, economic and financial resources and infrastructure.” President Hadi recounts the turmoil of the militia’s systematic killing of civilians, children and the elderly; kidnappings; disappearances; sieges and suppression of civic freedoms, equating these deplorable terrorising acts with those of Al Qaeda or Da’esh.

Welcoming the intervention of the Arab Coalition in Yemen, the report reiterates President Hadi’s complete support for the military procedures that the Coalition has taken to defend the legitimacy, unity and territorial integrity of the Yemeni state. However, where there have been mistakes in targetting, the report recommends that the facts are investigated and those responsible are held to account.

Mohammed Askar, Yemen’s Vice Minister of Human Rights alo renews his government’s appeal to all international organisations and human rights mechanisms to look carefully at the Yemeni crisis in order to achieve sustainable peace in all parts of Yemen by ending the coup d’état in adherence with  international resolutions, notably UN Resolution 2216.

The appeals reflect those made by H.E. Mohamed Taha Mustafa, the Yemeni ambassador to Belgium and the European Union, who was welcomed to the European Parliament’s Delegations for relations with the Arab Peninsula earlier this month. In his speech, he underlined the disruptive role of the Houthis rebels supported by Iran and their continuous boycott of all attempts to secure the peaceful transition promoted by the legitimate elected government and the Saudi-led coalition. The Ambassador appealed to the European Parliament and EU governments to put pressure on Iran to cease interfering with internal Yemeni affairs and stop supporting the Houthi rebels.

The latest Special Edition of Saudi Arabia in Focus on Yemen covers recent Saudi Arabia’s humanitarian action in country, the Kingdom’s approach to addressing the crisis and the progress being made in combating the threat of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

 

Abdulrahman S. Alahmed

Ambassador and Head of the Saudi Mission to the EU

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