Middle EastSaudi ArabiaYemen

Human Rights Watch censures Saudi-led UNHRC resolution on Yemen



Human Rights Watch has criticized the United Nations Human Rights Council for approving a resolution initiated by the Saudi regime on Yemen, saying the resolution is “deeply flawed.”

In a statement on Friday, the rights group said the top UN human rights body has failed to adequately and properly probe the human rights violations committed in Yemen.

It added that the Saudi proposal was approved after the Dutch backed down following “intense pressure from Saudi Arabia.”

The Netherlands on Wednesday withdrew the draft of a resolution calling for an international fact-finding mission over human rights violations in Yemen and instructing the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to dispatch experts to the impoverished country to probe the Saudi aggression.

“By failing to set up a serious UN inquiry on war-torn Yemen, the Human Rights Council squandered an important chance to deter further abuses,” said the HRW’s Geneva deputy director, Philippe Dam.

Western governments have accepted the resolution based on the Saudi proposal, which lacks any reference to an independent and international inquiry into abuses in Yemen.

The new resolution supports a decree issued by fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Riyadh, appointing a so-called national commission of inquiry.

The resolution asks the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights only “to provide technical assistance and to work with the government of Yemen, as required, in the field of capacity building.”

People gather at the site of a Saudi airstrike in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, October 1, 2015. (Reuters)


Tale of a savage aggression

In late March, Saudi warplanes launched airstrikes on the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, as part of a broader military campaign with the aim of undermining the Houthi Ansarullah movement and restoring power to Hadi. The military aggression started without a UN mandate.

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 26.

The spokesman for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), Christophe Boulierac, said on Friday that 505 Yemeni children have been killed and over 700 others wounded in the same time span. He said more than 600 have been recruited as child soldiers and 1.7 million are facing the risk of malnutrition as Yemen’s infrastructure crumbles.

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