SAM renews its demand for the necessity of prosecuting those responsible for committing the "Friday of Dignity massacre", as well as compensating civilians and achieving justice
Geneva- SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said that hundreds of Yemeni civilians were still suffering from the absence of justice after 12 years have passed since individuals and former government officials committed one of the most heinous massacres in the Yemeni revolution, which was known as Friday of Dignity massacre". It stressed that the policy of "impunity" contributed to deepening the effects of violations throughout the years of conflict in Yemen.
The organization indicated in a statement issued in conjunction with the twelfth anniversary of one of the most heinous massacres that the events of the events of that bloody day occurred when gunmen affiliated with former Yemeni President "Ali Abdullah Saleh" on March 18, 2011, killed at least 45 civilians and wounded more than 200 others, without the perpetrators of these crimes being brought to justice to this day.
“SAM” indicated in its statement that human rights and field investigations have proven beyond any doubt that there were 11 government officials directly involved in this massacre, in addition to 78 other security personnel and they escaped with impunity. "Ali Abdullah Saleh", during his time as president, disrupted all efforts to provide violators to the judicial system. He dismissed the public prosecutor, "Abdullah Al-Aulofi", who was then charged with investigating the crime after Al-Aulofi ordered the referral of the accused- including government officials- to interrogation, and the perpetrators have never been arrested or investigated.
The organization stated that one of these former officials responsible for these crimes was the current presidential Leadership Council member, "Tariq Saleh", the commander of the Special Forces at that time, as he was one of the most significant violators, especially sniping operations that claimed the lives of dozens of individuals. SAM pointed out to the famous speech of former President "Ali Saleh" urging "Tariq" to indiscriminately kill civilians by saying, "shoot them with snipers". During that period, "Tariq" was responsible for training snipers and ordering them to kill hundreds of civilians, including women and children.
On its part, the organization pointed out that there were several factors that helped enhance the policy of impunity. The first factor was through the Yemeni parliament, which issued a law at that time to exempt "Ali Saleh" and his government's pillars from the criminal liability for the crimes committed during his presidency. The second was in the absence of the true will of the Yemeni government after the revolution in moving the criminal case and activating criminal accountability against the officials who carried out this massacre and other violations. As for the third factor, it is due to the absence of the Yemeni judicial system and its lack of justiciability to discuss these cases as a result of the weakness of its components and the lack of mandatory decisions.
“SAM” blamed the Yemeni judicial system, which - and still - is suffering from a clear deficiency in the exercise of its duties, especially in such bloody crimes for not moving the criminal cases against those involved. The organization attributed the reason for this to the absence of arrest tools that force the security services to arrest persons accused of murder and direct attack. SAM also emphasized that the absence of judicial practice at that time had a great impact in enhancing the policy of impunity and turning a blind eye to the criminals who carried out this massacre.
The organization highlighted that the policy of impunity pursued by the Yemeni authorities at the time had the biggest role in not arresting those responsible for this massacre, holding the previous regime and its officials fully responsible for the consequences of that crime, whose victims still suffer from until this day, whether those who did not receive medical or financial aid during those years or those who have not been dispensed with sufficient compensation for what they were exposed to.
For its part, SAM stressed that the “The Friday of Dignity massacre” revealed the ugly and immoral fac e of the Yemeni regime at that time, which was directly killing the civilians. It also indicated that this crime is one of the many crimes supervised by the "Ali Saleh" regime, which were carried out without taking into account any of their catastrophic results or their grave violation of international law.
The international organization concluded its statement by emphasizing that local and international judicial prosecution is the primary guarantor to stop the violations in Yemen. it also confirmed that the international community bears a great responsibility for the crimes committed in Yemen due to its negative role and called on the International Criminal Court to carry out its job role and open a serious criminal investigation into the repercussions of the massacre that claimed the lives of dozens and punish those involved.