YEMENI rights activists announced yesterday that they are applying to the Attorney General for states and officials involved in the Saudi-led coalition to be prosecuted for war crimes.
According to the UN, war-riven Yemen has been brought to the brink of starvation because of the coalition’s blockade, its infrastructure wrecked by a devastating air bombing campaign that has lasted more than two years.
The British-based Human Rights for Yemen group is seeking to hold the Saudi Arabian, UAE and Qatari regimes and their officials to account in British courts.
Director Kim Sharif said: “The UK has a moral and legal duty to uphold the rule of law.
“The government has willingly ignored the atrocities that have been inflicted on the people of Yemen and has been totally complicit in the destruction.
“We believe that Saudi forces are committing war crimes and violating the Geneva Convention.
“We are calling for this to be investigated immediately and are confident that there is jurisdiction to bring such proceedings in UK courts.”
According to the Campaign Against Arms Trade, the British government has licensed £4.6 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since its ongoing assault against Yemen began in 2015.
More than 2,000 schools and educational centres have suffered air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition according to evidence gathered by the Legal Centre for Rights & Development based in the Yemeni capital Sanaa. This amounts to thousands of war crimes, Human Rights for Yemen says.
More than 20 million people are dependent on aid, according to International Committee of the Red Cross, and Unicef figures show that 130 children die per day due to malnutrition and disease.
Nearly a million people have been affected by an ongoing cholera epidemic largely attributable to the destruction of the country’s infrastructure and schools, hospitals, homes, mosques, heritage sites and newsrooms have been destroyed in the bombardment and funerals, weddings and other civilian gatherings targeted.
Earlier this month an air strike on the building of the national TV station al-Yemen al-Yowm in Sanaa resulted in several journalists being according to Almasirah, Yemen’s Houthi rebels’ TV channel.
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