SAM Calls on the Security Council to Protect Civilians after Houthis Decision to Bury Dozens of Bodies Collectively
  • 19/01/2021
    SAM |

    Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties issued an urgent appeal to the Security Council, the United Nations, and all international bodies, to act immediately and to exercise their role in protecting the rights of Yemeni civilians, after the escalation of the ongoing violations of the Houthi militia, the most recent of which was the announcement by the Houthis-controlled Public Prosecutor that it would bury 49 corpses from Amran Governorate Hospital mortuary "collectively".

    SAM said in its statement issued today - Tuesday - that it followed with great dismay and concern the announcement published by the "Al-Thawra" newspaper, which is under the control of the Houthi militia in Sana'a, on December 31,2020, of the Public Prosecution, calling on the relatives of the bodies whose names were published in the announcement to attend to Amran Hospital to collect the bodies of their loved ones and bury them within fifteen days, otherwise the Prosecution will carry out the mass burial of the bodies.

    SAM indicated that the announcement published in the newspaper included many names of the victims who had been liquidated years ago, including the tribal Sheikh Sultan Al-Warwari, one of the notables of the Qaflah Athar district in Amran governorate, who was liquidated near a checkpoint belonging to the Houthi militia, leaving him on the ground, on the road in June 2019, a relative of the sheik believed that the sheikh had interfered as a mediator in the case of one of the residents of his region, which aroused the discontent of the Houthis and pushed them to liquidate him, as a warning for anyone who tries to sympathize with anyone the group detains or decides to target.

    SAM reported information that it had documented about some of the victims whose names were mentioned in the announcement in the newspaper, including Muhammad Abdo, who was liquidated on January 10, 2016, by the Houthi militia in the Maswar district of Amran governorate, where he was killed in front of his family on his return from Marib governorate after burying his deceased sister, and two other relatives were injured during his liquidation. In addition to Samira Ahmed and her daughter, Fatima al-Jalal, who were liquidated by her son, a fighter with Houthi forces.

    SAM also documented that on May 2, 2016, the Houthi militia in Qafla Athar district, Amran governorate, raided the house of Ibrahim Abdul-Karim Al-Faqih, killing him and wounding Yahya Qassem Al-Faqih, a relative of Ibrahim, who was seriously injured in front of their family members of women and children. On September 22, 2016, Houthi gunmen surrounded the house of Yousef Ali Naji Salah Al-Rugil, in the village of Beit Saad, Beit Al-Rugil, in Maswar district, with several heavily armed crews, killing him, wounding his father, and then blowing up the house.

    Tawfiq Al-Humeidi, head of SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, said that the announcement, which included a list of the names of 49 bodies, indicates the seriousness of the human rights situation in Yemen and reflects the scale of the blatant attacks practiced by the Houthi militia against Yemeni civilians, stressing that his organization has documented similar crimes and that this is not the first case that Houthi run-agencies have carried out mass burial."

    Al-Humeidi denounced the unjustified international silence regarding the repeated crimes and attacks in Yemen, stressing that the international community’s continued disavowal of its responsibilities towards the ongoing war in Yemen provides an indirect cover for armed groups and parties to the conflict to escalate their violations, expressing his fear of seeing similar crimes in the future if the position of the international community continues as it is.

    SAM stresses that the information documented about the victims proves beyond any doubt that Houthi forces have carried out killings and field executions against civilians without any charge or trial, which indicates a serious violation of the basic rights guaranteed by international law. SAM also stresses that the Public Prosecution’s announcement of its intention to mass bury the corpses of people who were killed years ago is a dangerous and unprecedented matter that reflects the criminal mentality of the Houthi militia, affirming that the Public Prosecution is one of its duties to protect the rights of individuals and to bring criminals and aggressors to justice. But what is happening is that the agencies managed by the Houthi militia are persistently violating the rights of individuals and assaulting them, and even pursuing anyone who violates or opposes those policies.

    SAM called on the parties to the conflict to respect the relevant rules of international law and international principles that protect the rights of individuals and criminalize degrading treatment of human dignity, stressing the need to spare civilians the attacks and horrific crimes that constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity. The organization also called on all international bodies, and the Security Council, to take immediate action and save the lives of Yemeni civilians and to stop the years-long conflict.

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