UN Human Rights Council publishes a report yesterday (3 September 2019) on human rights infringements by Britain France and USA
The UN’s panel of eminent experts on Yemen has today published a damning report on the activities of the UK government and others into the atrocities being committed in Yemen. They conclude that international human rights law has been infringed. The most damning conclusion is:
The Experts found reasonable grounds to believe that the conduct of hostilities by the parties to the conflict, including by airstrikes and shelling, continued to have an extreme impact on civilians and many of these attacks may amount to serious violations of international humanitarian law. The Experts further found reasonable grounds to believe that, in addition to violations related to the conduct of hostilities, the parties to the armed conflict in Yemen are responsible for arbitrary deprivation of the right to life, arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, sexual violence, torture, ill-treatment, child recruitment, violations of fundamental freedoms, and violations of economic, social and cultural rights. These amount to violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law, as applicable. Subject to determination by an independent and competent court, many of these violations may result in individuals being held responsible for war crimes.
The Campaign Against the Arms Trade has waged a long legal battle with the UK government which was successful in June persuading the Court of Appeal that the Secretary of State’s actions were ‘irrational and therefore unlawful.’
Further background on the UN report can be found in a Guardian article 3 September.
Another extract from the report details activities we have previously highlighted:
The report notes that coalition air strikes have caused most direct civilian casualties. The airstrikes have hit residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities. Based on the incidents they examined, the Group of Experts have reasonable grounds to believe that individuals in the Government of Yemen and the coalition may have conducted attacks in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality and precaution that may amount to war crimes.
“There is little evidence of any attempt by parties to the conflict to minimize civilian casualties. I call on them to prioritise human dignity in this forgotten conflict,” said Kamel Jendoubi, chairperson of the Group of International and Regional Eminent Experts on Yemen.
The UN report can be accessed here.
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