Amnesty calls Saudi aggression against Yemen war crime
Amnesty International has called for a “suspension” in the transfer of weapons and munitions to Saudi Arabia after the emergence of clear evidence that the kingdom is committing war crimes in Yemen.
The London-based rights group released a statement on Wednesday, saying that “damning” evidence of war crimes committed by Saudi Arabia, which is armed by countries including the US, underlines the pressing need for an independent and effective investigation into the Arab kingdom’s human rights violations in the impoverished neighboring country.
The statement is based on concrete evidence that came to light in another Amnesty report a day earlier, dubbed “Bombs fall from the sky day and night: Civilians under fire in northern Yemen”.
According to the 41-page report, some 100 civilians, including 55 children and 22 women, were killed in 13 deadly airstrikes, carried out between May and July 2015, in Yemen’s Sa’ada province.
“The youngest child killed was just 12 days old, whose body was found by relatives alongside that of his mother, who was also killed in the same airstrike,” the report said.
The detailed report also revealed the use of internationally banned cluster bombs against the war-torn country.
This report “uncovers yet more evidence of unlawful airstrikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, some of which amount to war crimes,” Donatella Rovera, the head of the group’s fact-finding mission to Yemen, said in the statement.
“The designation of large, heavily populated areas as military targets and the repeated targeting of civilian homes are telling examples revealing the coalition forces’ flagrant failure to take sufficient precautions to avoid civilian loss of life as required by international humanitarian law,” she further said.
The world’s indifference to the suffering of Yemeni civilians in this conflict is shocking, she stated, adding that the “lack of accountability has contributed to the worsening crisis and unless perpetrators believe they will be brought to justice for their crimes, civilians will continue to suffer the consequences.”
Yemen has been under military strikes on a daily basis since Saudi forces launched their military aggression against their southern neighbor on March 26, in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restore power to the fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, an ally of Riyadh.
About 6,400 people have reportedly lost their lives in the Saudi airstrikes, and a total of nearly 14,000 people have been injured since March. According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 505 children are among the fatalities.
The UN reported on Tuesday that some 114,000 people have also been forced to flee the war-stricken country due to the Saudi aggression.