Geneva: The Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR) has strongly condemned the sharp escalation of crimes and violence committed by Iran-backed Al Houthi militias over the past few days in the Yemeni capital of Sana’a.
In a statement on the situation in Yemen, AFHR accused the Al Houthis of carrying out assassinations and armed attacks that resulted in hundreds of deaths and injuries at a time when Yemeni people are experiencing one of the greatest humanitarian crisis in the world.
“The Arab Federation for Human Rights is appalled by the shameful and inhumane silence of the international community towards these humanitarian crimes being committed by these militias against civilians throughout Yemen for three years. AFHR is shocked by the failure to intervene to stop the Iranian-backed coup d’état staged by the Houthis who have committed a series of war crimes against humanity as well as breaching the provisions of international humanitarian law and human rights law,” reads the statement.
“During the past six days, the Houthis rebels have targeted civilians on the streets of Sana’a, killing them after storming the homes of tribal and pro-CPP leaders in the Yemeni capital. Heavy fighting erupted around the diplomatic area in Sana’a, according to the United Nations.
“Military tanks deployed in the streets confirmed that the fighting moved from Sana’a to “Hajjah” and other provinces. This has resulted in the suspension of relief convoys and flights to Sana’a.
“These attacks equally resulted in the killing of 250 people and injuring hundreds of others and caused the assassination of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was executed on the ground despite surrendering. This constitutes a flagrant violation of international humanitarian laws because he was among the prisoners of war.”
The statement added that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) described the situation in the Yemeni capital Sana’a as bitter because of the clashes. The committee’s office in Yemen said that thousands of residents are stuck in their homes with little food or water and cannot leave for fear of clashes, and that pregnant women could not reach the hospital for fear of their lives.
The statement continued: “Al Houthi militias also committed another massacre against the children of Taiz, where they bombed a children’s compound west of Taiz, which resulted in the death of five children and injuring more than three others. This is a new humanitarian crime, adding to a series of violations perpetrated by the Houthi group against civilians in Taiz and Yemen.”
AFHR called on the United Nations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Security Council and international organisations not to remain silent about the continuing organised crimes committed by the Houthi militias against civilians in Yemen, in the absence of control by the legitimate authority after the rebels staged a coup against the legal government and took control over many areas in Yemen.
The federation urged the international community to act quickly and exert pressure by all means to deter these coup militias to stop their crimes and violations, impose peace and security in Yemen and support the efforts of the legitimate authority to complete the transitional process in accordance with the UN resolutions and the Gulf initiative.
AFHR finally demanded that the Houthis be held accountable for the systematic crimes they have committed against Yemeni civilians, and called for referring the perpetrators to the International Criminal Court, to ensure that they do not go unpunished and ultimately bring justice to the victims and promote international peace and security.