The Houthis commit new war crimes by blowing up civilian homes in Rada’a
  • 19/03/2024
    SAM |

    SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties and the American Center for Justice (ACJ) said that the Houthi group blew up two houses this morning, Tuesday, March 19, 2024, in the center of the city of Rada’a, which caused nearby popular homes to demolish on the heads of their inhabitants and as a result, 18 civilians, most of whom are women and children, are still under rubble. The two organizations stressed that the group was guilty of committing a horrific crime that requires deterrent action. 
    Tawfiq Al-Hamidi, President of SAM Organization said, “The lack of legal accountability has caused the Houthi group to continue its policy of demolishing homes as a collective punishment of the population, which constitutes a flagrant violation of human rights and international humanitarian law. This act constitutes a war crime under international law and violates the rights of individuals to safety, shelter and their rights to housing.”
    Preliminary information showed that, the Houthi group summoned special forces from the capital, Sana’a on Tuesday morning, following the killing the brother of a Houthi supervisor yesterday evening. These forces surrounded the homes of the " Al Naqos and Al-Zayla'i" families in Al-Hafra neighborhood in the center of Rada’a city.
    According to eyewitnesses, the special forces of the Houthi group deployed snipers in the historic Rada’a Castle, which prompted the people of Beit Naqos to flee before the Houthi group deliberately booby-trapped their house and an outside room and blew them up, resulting in the collapse of a number of neighboring houses. The eyewitnesses confirmed that the Al-Yarimi family's house collapsed on the heads of its residents who were safe inside. According to these sources, about 18 people, including women, children and men, are still under the rubble to this moment. 
    According to a human rights report issued by the American Center for Justice on December 7, 2023, the Houthi group has blown up 713 houses in all Yemeni governments. Al-Bayda Governorate topped the list of governorates with 118 houses, followed by Taiz with 110 houses, then Al-Jawf with 76 houses, Saada 73 houses, Ibb 62 houses, Sanaa 57 houses, Ma’rib 53 houses, Dhamar 37 houses, Hajjah 31 houses, Al-Dhale’ 23 houses, Lahj 22, Amran 21 houses, Al Hudaydah 14 houses, Shabwa 10 houses, Abyan 5 houses, and Aden one house. 
    International law considers blowing up homes with the families in a grave war crime that violates international humanitarian law. Intentionally demolishing homes to destroy property is also considered a war crime according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court and a crime against humanity if it is committed on a large scale or as part of a systematic attack against civilians, which makes the leadership of this group accountable before justice.
    The two organizations confirm that Houthi elements follow a systematic behavior in blowing up homes, including the “Al Naqos” home. The Houthis aim to collectively punish and terrorize opponents, without taking into account any Yemeni legal provisions. The group also deliberately pursues a policy of bombing without taking into account any side effects, which often causes serious damage to neighboring homes, especially adjacent mud homes, as is the case in the “Al Naqos” house, which caused nearby homes to be demolished upon the heads of their inhabitants, which conclusively shows the group’s deliberate involvement in this crime.

    SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties and the American Center for Justice (ACJ) call on the rescue crews to quickly recover the children and women trapped under the rubble of destroyed homes. The two organizations held the Houthi group fully responsible for the serious crime that committed this morning and called for the need to open an urgent investigation and bring all individuals involved in this serious violation to criminal justice.

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