Organizations call for independent investigation of violations in Yemen
Since 2015, Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war that has already killed nearly 5,000 people and wounded another 8,000. As a result of the numerous human rights violations in the country, organizations from around the world have asked the UN Human Rights Council to support the creation of an independent international investigation into the abuses committed against the Yemeni population.
At least seven million people are on the brink of starvation in the country and hundreds of thousands are suffering from cholera. Both sides involved in the conflict have harassed, arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared Yemeni activists, human rights defenders and journalists, making it difficult for civil society groups and the media to operate there.
Moreover, both sides have used widely banned weapons that can endanger the civilian population even after the conflict ends. At least seven types of cluster munitions have been used, including those made by Brazilian companies. In 2016, it was discovered that weapons made by the Brazilian company Taurus, the world’s largest manufacturer of revolvers, had been illegally sent to Yemen.
“The victims of abuses in Yemen cannot afford to wait any longer for credible investigations into ongoing grave violations and abuses to be undertaken,” said the organizations.
For two years, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, has been requesting an independent international investigation into the conflict. The Houthi-Saleh side (an alliance between the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Zaidi Shia Houthi movement), however, has publicly refused to cooperate with the Yemeni National Commission or with the OHCHR (Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights) to implement a resolution.
In March 2017, the Deputy High Commissioner expressed concerns about the National Commission, noting that it has not complied with internationally recognized standards of methodology and impartiality and has “yet to clarify how its work could facilitate viable mechanisms of accountability”.
The letter sent to the Human Rights Council was signed by Conectas and another 55 civil society organizations from around the world.
- Click here to read the request in full.