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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

The Embassy of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in Cairo issued a statement on Sunday, 1 January 2017 addressing the Houthi militias’ violation of international norms and conventions. The statement pointed out that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is committed to the United Nations Resolution 2216 a cease-fire in Yemen and allowing humanitarian aid to areas under siege and lifting the siege.

The statement stated that on 20 October 2016, that Saudi Foreign Minister  H.E. Adel Al-Jubeir confirmed the Kingdom’s support of the Yemeni government, “We support the Yemeni government’s call for an end to the violence and so the coalition will abide by it. But again I want to emphasize that we have the right to defend ourselves.”

Despite a truce lasting from 20 April 2016 until 13 July 2016, “12,704” cases of violation were recorded. 75,382 gross violations against civilians and public and private property were committed by the Houthi and Saleh-supporting militia during the first half of 2016, including cases of murder, injury, kidnapping, arrest and arbitrary attacks on public and private property, not to mention  the undermining of local authorities, the recruitment of children and the administration of collective punishment.
During the period from 2014 to 2015 there were 257 cases of violation against media institutions and 86 against websites, 91 cases of academics being kidnapped. In addition 262 arrests of military personnel were recorded along with 1,302 cases of individuals being for their political affiliation, as well as 2706 enforced disappearance and 32 individual under house arrest in Sanaa.

Find can find further details in a factsheet here.


The kingdom of Saudi Arabia Welcomes  the proposals put forth by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on a final settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict:
Saudi Arabia views the proposals as being in accord with the majority of the resolutions of international legality and most of the elements of the Arab Peace Initiative adopted at the Arab Summit in Beirut in 2002 and by the Islamic Summit in Makkah in 2005, and that the proposals represent an appropriate basis for achieving a final settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

  • January 3, 2017

Abdulrahman S. Alahmed: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and head of mission to the EU.

Brx Amb photo

On 28 September, the US Congress enacted the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) in a bipartisan vote, in spite of vigorous protests from President Obama, US national security officials and experts, the EU and numerous foreign governments and business leaders. President Obama used his prerogative to veto the bill, but for the first time in his administration, Congress overrode the presidential veto.

The bill, originally conceived in the context of the 9/11 terrorist attacks against the United States, horrendous acts that our kingdom has firmly condemned on several occasions, opens the door to lawsuits against any country, and ultimately its personnel, and fails to foresee the unintended consequence: the undermining of the global legal order and international relations.

JASTA effectively strips other countries of their sovereign immunity in the US, exposing them to private lawsuits in American courtrooms. As such, the passing of JASTA is a global issue that should be of concern to each and every country due to its fundamental erosion of the basic principles of international law.

The direct results of the bill are already becoming clear. The controversial legislation will undoubtedly put a burden on bilateral relations between states as well as on the international order.

Rather than relying on national security, foreign-policy and intelligence professionals to determine whether a state sponsors terrorism, JASTA effectively hands over this important responsibility to private litigants, juries consisting of American citizens and US courts who could mount cases with threadbare evidence or accusations.

We must ask ourselves whether we are willing to open up this Pandora’s Box at the risk of destabilising international cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

This is not, as might be believed, an isolated view unique to Saudi Arabia. Broad support has emerged in favour of amending JASTA to address harmful “unforeseen consequences”. A multitude of voices in the international community, from the Arab League, the OIC, and other international organisations representing nearly 90 countries have spoken out against JASTA.

They warn against the erosion of sovereign immunity and decry the bill as potentially damaging mutual trust between states and adversely affecting all areas of international cooperation.

In October, the European Parliamentary Research Service published an analytical briefing underscoring several critical points concerning JASTA’s unforeseen consequences for EU member States.

With a view to restricting the scope of the bill and its far-reaching unintended consequences, the EU and its member states should consider taking diplomatic and parliamentary actions to persuade the standing Congress to amend or repeal the bill.

More specifically, the EU, which already expressed its reserve about the bill before its adoption, could urge the US Congress to restore the operative Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act provision that JASTA withdrew.

The timescale for the current Congress to make such change is tight, and without further authoritative calls for change, the bill continues to jeopardise the global legal order and international relations.

It is our hope that wisdom will prevail and that Congress will take the necessary steps to correct this legislation to mitigate its scope and avoid the serious unintended consequences that may ensue.


US anti-terror legislation risks eroding international sovereignty

  • November 30, 2016