Human Rights Defenders in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Call for a Fact-Finding Mission on Yemen

We, the signatories named below, are a group of human rights defenders in the Middle East and North Africa. Whereas we firmly believe in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and International human rights conventions, we seek through this reference to disseminate, promote and defend the values, principles and standards of human rights in the Middle East and North Africa and all countries of the world.

As a matter of our legal responsibility, we follow with great concern the on-going war in Yemen, which started in September 2014 when the Ansar Allah militia, in cooperation with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s forces, captured the Yemeni capital and invaded the rest of Yemeni provinces including the cities of Taiz and Aden; and a Saudi led Arabic military alliance responded, starting from 26 March, by launching an air campaign against the Ansar Allah militia and their allies.

While all appeals and attempts to stop the war have failed to date, the violations of breaking the ceasefires reached by the two sides are continuing. Hence, we hereby express our grave concern with regard to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country as well as to the appalling conditions endured by the civilian population in the various provinces of the country, in addition to the carelessness by which all parties to the conflict treat the war’s destructive and disastrous humanitarian impacts.

The humanitarian consequences of this war are grave. It has caused so far the death of more than 4,500 people, including 400 children, and wounded more than 23,000 people. It left about 80% of the population in urgent need to vital humanitarian and medical aid, which include all commercial imports, food and fuel. The Saudi led Arab coalition blockade on Yemen has prevented the arrival of such supplies and assistance and compounded the suffering of civilians. The situation is acutely grave especially as Yemen imports about 90% of its food and fuel from outside the country. The results range from food insecurity for more than half of the Yemeni population, the need of more than 15.2 million people to basic health care, and the deprivation of more than 20 million Yemeni citizen of the most basic humanitarian supplies – a condition that has contributed to the spread of diseases and epidemics. These dire conditions are exacerbated with the unremitting use of internationally prohibited weapons. Consequently, the suffering of Yemeni children continue as an average of eight children are killed or maimed per day – a situation that prompted the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to repeatedly issue warnings of the catastrophic situation endured by Yemeni children,.[1]

According to many international human rights organizations as well as international humanitarian organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, all parties to the conflict in Yemen have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law, some of which may amount to war crimes.

Based on all of the above, we call in this urgent appeal to the UN Human Rights Council to form an international fact-finding commission to investigate thoroughly the allegations of

of serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by all parties to the conflict since September 2014. This investigation should include:

  1. The actions of the Saudi led Arab coalition forces and their allies, the Popular Resistance Militia, since the start of air bombing.
  2. The consequences of the air and sea blockade imposed by the coalition;
  3. The actions of Ansar Allah militia and former president Ali Abdullah Saleh forces in their march in and attacks against different Yemeni cities.
  4. The allegations of child recruitment and forced participation in armed conflict.

We also call for the adoption of an urgent international mechanism to investigate human rights violations committed in Yemen by all parties to the conflict. This mechanism should be conducted in a manner that documents the facts, collect and preserve the information relating to these violations, and ascertain the identity of those responsible for committing them in order to ensure bringing them to justice in international fair trials.

Signatories:

  1. Fadi Al-Qadi, Jordan
  2. Ahmed Mansour, United Arab Emirates
  3. Anwar Al-Rashied, Kuwait
  4. Radhia Almutawakel, Yemen
  5. Abdulrasheed Alfaqih, Yemen
  6. Dr. Elham Manea, Yemen
  7. Hadeel BuQrais, Kuwait
  8. Ali Al-Dailami, Yemen
  9. Linda Alkalash, Jordan
  10. Essam Koshak, Saudi Arabia
  11. Yousif Almuhafdah, Bahrain
  12. Dr. Hassan Al Amri, Saudi Arabia
  13. Taghreed Jaber, Jordan
  14. Nawaf Alhendal, Kuwait
  15. Abdulnabi Al Ekri, Bahrain
  16. Ahmedi bin Jumaa, Tunisia
  17. Haitham Ghonaim, Egypt
  18. Dr. Hala Aldosari, Saudi Arabia
  19. Dr. Amel Grami, Tunisia
  20. Moataz El Fegiery, Egypt
  21. Majid Al Mathaji, Yemen
  22. Khalid Ibrahim, Iraq
  23. Ahmed Raghib, Egypt
  24. Arwa Abdo Othman, Yemen
  25. Razgar Akrawi, Iraq
  26. Ali Al Dubaisi, Saudi Arabia
  27. Moomen Salam, Egypt
  28. Yahya Assiri, Saudi Arabia
  29. Emad Mubarak, Egypt
  30. Sherif Azer, Egypt
  31. Ziad Abdel Tawab, Egypt
  32. Obeida Fares, Syria
  33. Hussain Jawad, Bahrain

 

Contact Information

 

  • Dr. Elham Manea

Email: manea@pw.uzh.ch

  • Fadi Al-Qadi

Email: fadi.qadi@gmail.com

  • Abdulrasheed Alfaqih, Yemen

Email: alfaqihr@mwatana.org

 

 

 

[1] Source of these numbers are Amnesty International Statement on Yemen and appeal to the Human Rights Council, 19 August 2015; United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and BBC Arabic.

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