All Coalition Members to the Yemeni War May Have Committed War Crimes
A 41-page report prepared for the United Nations Human Rights Council blames all coalition members to the ongoing war in Yemen for human rights violations in the country. The report says the Yemeni government, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Iran-allied Houthi rebels among other forces fighting in Yemen have all contributed to possible war crimes in Yemen.
The report said that both Saudi-led and Western-backed coalition forces are guilty of excesses that could be considered war crimes by international conventions. Some of these violations include indiscriminate airstrikes on civilians, arbitrary detention, rape, torture, recruitment of child soldiers, executions and forced disappearances among other fallouts of the prolonged war.
According to the Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen – authors of the report, all sides of the war “are responsible for human rights violations, including unlawful deprivation of the right to life, arbitrary detention, rape, torture, ill-treatment, enforced disappearance and child recruitment, and serious violations of freedom of expression and economic, social and cultural rights, in particular the right to an adequate standard of living and the right to health.”
According to the report, about 6,660 civilians have been killed in sweeping bombings and over 10,000 people injured since the war began. Coalition air strikes have indiscriminately hit residential areas, local markets, funeral processions, wedding celebrations, detention facilities, medical facilities, schools and even water storage centers among others.
The report identifies errors in the coalition’s targeting processes as being responsible for most of civilian casualties recorded in the war over the years.
“If there are errors in the targeting process that effectively remove the protections provided by international humanitarian law, these would amount to violations,” the report states. “These may, depending on the circumstances, amount to war crimes by individuals at all levels in the member states of the coalition and the Government, including civilian officials.”
Authors of the report disclosed that all parties in the conflict neither care about civilian casualties nor taking steps to minimize their injuries and deaths. Witnesses told investigators that guards at the Bureiqa migrant detention center in Aden forcefully raped women in full glare of other detainees, and even sexually assaulted boys without regard or preference.
Women who resisted rape were forced to commit suicide, while children were forcibly recruited from schools and hospitals.
The Yemeni civil war began in 2015 after Houthi rebels ousted the government. The United States has supported a Saudi-led coalition to put the overthrown government back in power.