Humanity at Stake in Yemen

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan

Humanity is at stake in Yemen. Houthi militia and rebels are committing horrendous crimes against women. There are engaging in massive brutal atrocities, crimes and violations against women, the weaker section of the Yemeni society. Even basic human rights are the mercy of Houthis.
Vulnerable Section of the Yemeni Society

Women’s lives, properties, dignities and privacies have already been ruined by the Houthis. Human and gender discrimination committed by Houthis are polluting the basic core of Yemeni society. Houthis are real enemies of humanity, gender equality and basic human rights.

Strong Condemnation

Most recently, Arab and Yemeni human rights defenders and activists have strongly condemned the Houthi militia and group of deposed president Ali Abdullah Saleh brutal atrocities, crimes and violations against the women in Yemen. They termed it “bereft of human sense” and said the perpetrators had no regard for the sanctity of women in Yemen.

Findings of International Community

The international community blamed the Houthis who committed horrible crimes against women. They organized scandalous defilements of the international conventions and declaration of women’s human rights.

The Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR) Landmark Event

The Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR) organized a landmark event on the sidelines of the 30th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva and exposed the heinous crimes perpetrated by the Houthi militia against the Yemeni women. It was one of the best events held by human right activists in Geneva this year.

Findings of Dr. Mona Hejres

Dr. Mona Hejres, a member of the AFHR and head of ‘Together for Human Rights’, shared different aspects of Yemeni women sufferings in the ongoing war. She elaborated the scale of suffering that the Yemeni women endured, ranging from violations to war crimes committed by the Houthi militia and Saleh group ever since they took control of Yemen and toppled the legitimate government.

Serious Crimes against Yemeni Women

She said women had been suffering from serious crimes and there was complete denial of basic human rights in Yemen. They had faced multidimensional crimes. They were never remained active participants in the revolution that drove Saleh out of power.

Savage Crimes

She further shared that revolution brought more misery, helplessness and hopelessness for Yemeni women. They were brutally trodden, raped and killed at will. They had faced arbitrary arrest and detention, and use of excessive force. She termed it “savage crimes” which made women the most vulnerable segment of the Yemeni community to face gross violations, exclusion and oppression.

Deprivation of Basic Political, Cultural and Social Rights

During her speech, she shared miserable conditions of Yemeni women who have been deprived of deprived of their basic political, cultural and social rights, as well as their freedoms and role in running the state’s affairs and contributing to the nation’s development and building modern Yemen. Yemeni women have since been on a tireless struggle for their rights and freedom, she added.

Denial of Basic Human Rights

In her paper, Dr. Hejres pinpointed the mass human violation acts of Houthi militia and Saleh group against Yemeni women. They were physically involved in murders, forced disappearances, kidnappings, deprivation of basic educational and health services, bombardment of residential districts, along with assassinations in the capital Sana’a, Aden and other cities.

Positive and Participatory Role of the International Community

She called upon the international community to live its responsibilities and fully support the ongoing Arab Coalition’s operations for the protection of the Yemeni people. She also appealed to the UN Security Council to protect world peace and security by swiftly enforcing its resolutions on Yemen and ensure protection, safety and security for its people, and particularly women.

Different Aspects of Human Rights Violation

In this landmark event a number of heads of Yemeni human rights associations and organisations and members of the Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations carried out by the Houthi militia and Saleh group in Yemen spoke about the massive human right violation against women in Yemen committed by Houthi militia and Saleh group. They showed the real picture of women sufferings in Yemen. They highlighted different aspects of Yemeni women miseries and gross discrimination against common people. They showcased different published reports and documents prepared by them and the Human Rights Council a week ago during the said event.

Request to International Community and the UN Human Rights Council

The report requested the international community and the UN Human Rights Council to work on activating their international mechanisms to protect the Yemeni people and to prosecute the war criminals belonging to the Houthis and Saleh military militias.

Logical Rejection of Western International Facts Finding Committee

The AFHR and the Yemeni Coalition to Monitor Human Rights Violations, reiterated their rejection of the West’s move regarding a request to form an international Facts Finding Committee, as they perceived that such a move would dilute and ignore the human tragedy under which the Yemeni citizens have been reeling, especially when they are facing illegitimate and terrorist groups which practice terrorism and commit crimes against peaceful Yemeni civilian citizens in all areas of Yemen. They demanded practical steps to be taken for the safety and security of the vulnerable sections of the Yemeni society i.e. women and common people. They feared that formation of an international Facts Finding Committee as wished by the West would be a futile exercise.

They also termed this move a way to create another Syria and a repetition of what happened in Iraq, stressing the importance of the international community rallying efforts to implement its international resolutions when it comes to those criminals.

Importance of Prosecuting War Criminals

Maryam Al Ahmadi, a prominent activist at the Arab Federation for Human Rights (AFHR), underlined the importance of prosecuting war criminals affiliated to Al Houthi militia and the Saleh group and not giving them any chance to escape punishment or any political consecration in Yemen.

Need to Work Hard

She also stressed the need to work hard to drag the Houthi militia and the Saleh group to face international justice, appreciating the role played by the Arab Federation for Human Rights to accomplish this in cooperation with a lot of regional and international bodies.

Role of International Community

She also emphasised the importance of the international community assuming its international responsibilities aimed to provide protection to women during wars and armed and military conflicts and disputes.

Legitimacy of Establishing the International Coalition “Operation Restoring Hope

Maryam bin Tawq, Coordinator at the Arab Federation for Human Rights, spoke about the importance and legitimacy of establishing the international coalition “Operation Restoring Hope,” aimed at protecting the Yemeni people from violations and crimes against humanity being carried out by al-Houthi group and the Saleh Militia, monitored by the Euro-Mediterranean Center for Human Rights.

She also pinpointed that the Centre has found that those criminals have committed more than 4,500 human rights violations within the course of just one month of their control of Sana’a.

War Crimes

She concluded that some of these crimes can very well be considered as war crimes or crimes against humanity. She noted that the Centre has also provided some figures pertaining to the number and nature of violations committed by the Houthi militia and Saleh group against the Yemeni citizens, stressing the need to continue to support the legitimacy of the ‘Operation Restoring Hope’ that came after well considered decisions and was aimed at meeting humanitarian needs, as well as to provide protection to the Yemenis and their right to live in security and peace in their country.

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