Yemen: Joint letter presented at the 48 session of the Human Rights Council calls for implementation of international law
62 human rights organizations, including Alkarama, sent letter to members of the United Nations Human Rights Council ahead of the Council's 48th session, calling for the formation of an international investigative body focusing on criminal cases in Yemen and ensuring the continuity of the work of the Panel of Eminent Experts on Yemen under a continuous or multi-year mandate.
Cases of human rights violations in Yemen over the past few years have remained one of Alkarama's main concerns, through individual complaints to special procedures and media appeals, especially regarding extrajudicial killings, torture, enforced disappearances and arbitrary arrests.
The message from human rights organizations to the Human Rights Council said: “This September, the seventh year of the tragic war in Yemen will begin. This protracted conflict has ravaged the country and caused enormous suffering to the Yemeni people. At least 233,000 people have been killed, including 102,000 deaths directly from hostilities and 131,000 from other causes, including conflict-related famine, destruction of health services and infrastructure. More than 4 million people have been internally displaced. "
The letter from human rights organizations adds that serious violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law, committed by all parties to the conflict, have caused the worst man-made humanitarian crisis. Indiscriminate and other unlawful attacks have killed and injured civilians, and destroyed or damaged civilian homes, medical facilities and infrastructure. These attacks and the simultaneous obstruction of humanitarian aid have also exacerbated the spread of epidemics, including cholera and COVID-19. In addition, the country faces an imminent threat of generalized famine.
The UN Group of International and Regional Experts, in a report titled "An Epidemic of Impunity in a Tortured Country", focused on "the enormous accountability gap" in Yemen, and concluded that the the international community "can and should" do more "to help bridge" this divide in Yemen. The experts recommended the importance for the international community to take urgent measures to support the criminal responsibility of those responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. In particular, they supported "the formation of a crime-focused investigative body", modeled on the mechanisms put in place for Syria and Myanmar, and stressed the need to "realize the rights of victims through corrective measures (including the payment of compensation) ".
The letter is available in Arabic at the following link: https://www.alkarama.org/ar/documents/rsalt-alymn-ly-mjls-hqwq-alansan-rby
The letter is available in English at the following link: https://www.alkarama.org/en/documents/yemen-letter-hrc-48-english