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Saudi-led coalition attacks human rights organisations instead of respecting them

September 18, 2018 at 3:59 am

A malnourished baby receives medical treatment at al Sabeen Maternal Hospital in Sanaa, Yemen on 20 November, 2017 [Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency]

A report issued by the United Nations panel of experts tasked with investigating the human rights violations in Yemen has been well received by the international democratic forces and human rights organisations.

It was also widely acclaimed by the international media outlets for its accurate evidence and well-documented testimonies of the abuses committed by all parties involved in the conflict in Yemen, including torture, enforced disappearances, the denial of humanitarian aid, recruiting children, the discriminate targeting of civilians, destruction of infrastructure, schools and hospitals, etc.

Meanwhile, some Gulf governments, mainly Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, tried to undermine the Chairman Mr Kamel Jendoubi and defame him to question the content of the report. Thirty international, regional, and Arab human rights organisations have sympathised with Mr Kamel Jendoubi, who is trusted by the UN and whose report to the UN Secretary-General was characterised by integrity, argumentation and fact-finding.

These organisations issued a statement condemning the slander the report’s author was subjected . The statement noted the following:

  • The statement signatories salute the efforts of the UN Human Rights Council panel of experts, including its argumentation, evidence and testimonies that confirm what human rights organisations and some media outlets have reported since the beginning of the war, thus condemning all parties involved in the Yemeni conflict.
  • The organisations expressed their full solidarity with the Chairman of the panel of experts, Mr Kamel Jendoubi, in the face of the slander campaigns targeting him, which, once again, demonstrate some states’ contempt for the UN, its envoys, and its reports.
  • The organisations emphasise the need to track all those involved in the armed conflict in Yemen to achieve accountability and prevent impunity in war crimes.

The United Nations and the Security Council also call for a ban on arms sales to all parties involved in the conflict, call for addressing the humanitarian crisis there, and for preventing further crimes against the Yemeni people.

This is a summary of what happened, and it indicates the parties’ continued dodging and escape forward instead of treating and eradicating the disease.

This reminds us of an ill individual who takes their temperature and realises that it is near 40 degrees, which poses a danger to their lives, and instead of going to the doctor to reduce their fever and treat the illness, they destroy the thermometer that revealed the truth. Indeed, this is the case with some of the Arab governments in the face of UN human rights organisations, although these same governments signed their charters and thereby agreed to the norms and conditions of UN membership.

Such behaviour confirms that we Arabs are still a far way away from the spirit of the organisation established by our forefathers to maintain peace after the plight of two world wars.

This resulted in the founding of the United Nations in 1945 to re-establish international relations by mutual security, the resolution of conflicts through negotiations, and the removal of the spectre of war.

The establishment of the Human Rights Council based in Geneva is a recognition of an important principle of world peace: recognising that humans have personal rights that are universally recognised and that constitutions undertake the protection and support of such rights.

Yemeni children affected by the Saudi-coalition war - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Yemeni children affected by the Saudi-coalition war – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

This is not being respected by the warring parties in Yemen today, which have been fighting for three and a half years without hope of a military resolution for the conflict, but with a strange determination to continue killing, bombing and destruction until the Yemeni people have reached to the worst situation they have ever been in.

This includes tens of thousands of victims and the spread of epidemics, the spread of famine, the lack of medicine, water and food, and the Yemeni territories have been turned into a ring of suspicious alliances and blatant interventions under pretexts that are no longer convincing anyone.

The heinous bombing of a school bus in Saada was the straw that broke the camel’s back, exposing to the international public opinion the severity of the tragedy and the brutality of the attackers. The Coalition countries then admitted to committing this massacre against innocent children and provided additional justifications for this bombing.

What is most important here is not the personal attack organised against Mr Kamel Jendoubi, an activist who has a long history of struggle and sacrifices for the sake of maintaining human rights, beginning with his native country of Tunisia and spreading to other Arab countries, which unfortunately are at the top of the list of human rights violators.

The liquidations of opponents of the Egyptian regime in the form of harsh, unjustified judicial rulings, as well as in the Gulf, which has gone down a path of extreme intellectual repression, are examples of such violations.

The world looks at us and evaluates our activism behaviour, and addresses and deals with us politically and economically based on the standard of our respect for fundamental human rights. Let us fear God in our dealings with the people entrusted by God to their rulers to treat them fairly, not to oppress them with an iron fist.


The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.