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February 2018 State of Human Rights in Yemen

  
  
  
    
21/03/2018

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, based in Geneva, is continuing in monitoring human rights violations in Yemen, during 2018, where in February, SAM has monitored 647 cases of violation to the international humanitarian law, and war law, included extra-legal killing, physical assaults, attacks on press freedom, arbitrary detention, confiscation of properties, torture, by Houthis militia, Arab Coalition airstrikes, military formations, and fighting groups loyal to the legitimate government.

Out of the total violations, Houthis militia perpetrated 418 violations, Arab Coalition 114, 19 by parties loyal to the legitimate government, 22 by terrorist groups, and 60 by unknown groups in areas under the legitimate government control.

It important to remind that, the violations documented in this statement, are not inclusive, nor do they provide a specific percentage of the actual violations, rather they represent a random sample through which we could see the human rights situation in Yemen, and they reflect what SAM monitors managed to document according to the monitoring standards followed by SAM.

Violation of the Right to Life:

SAM organization has monitored and documented 172 killings of civilians during February, including 66 by Arab Coalition airstrikes, 23 in Sa’da, 21 in Hodiedah, 17 in Taiz, 3 in Sana’a, and 2 in Amran governorate. Houthis militia is responsible for the killing of 94 civilians,47 in Taiz, and 33 in Hodiedah, while landmines killed 32 civilians, one civilian killed by the legitimate government forces, and 3 others assassinated; in Sana’a, Aden and Taiz governorates.

In Sa’da governorate, in the Saudi border, SAM documented on 18 February, AC airstrikes that killed 18 civilians, in Alaqiq villages, Kitaf, including 7 children, also on 25 February, 5 civilians killed including 2 children, and 12 others injured, by AC airstrike on Gababir area, in Sa’da.

In the eastern coast, Hodiedah governorate, SAM documented on 17 February, the killing of 4 civilians by AC airstrike, including 2 children. In central Yemen, in Mahees, Taiz on 10 February AC airstrike killed 8 civilians, including one child by AC airstrike, also in Taiz, Al-Qurafa village, SAM documented the killing of 4 civilians, including 2 children, by a mortar shell, fired by Houthis militia. Two civilians, one woman, also killed in Hodiedah, by Houthis mortar shelling on Khokha city.  In Hais district, Houthis militia executed Saeed Qaid on 7 February, for opposing them, according to witnesses.

Violation of the Right to Physical Integrity:

SAM organization has documented 275 injuries of civilians during February, including 30 women, and 94 children most of them in Taiz, Hodiedah, and Sa’da, mainly by indiscriminate shelling by Houthis militia, and AC airstrikes on residential areas.

On 10 February SAM documented 14 injuries of civilians in Taiz governorate, by mortar shelling fired by Houthis militia, on Al-Mujalliah neighbourhood, including 6 children, and in Osaifra neighbourhood, 16 civilians, including 13 children, injured by mortar shelling fired by Houthis militia on 3 February.

In Hodiedah governorate, on 27 February, 11 civilians also were injured by mortar shelling fired by Houthis militia, including 7 children, at Khokha city, and in the Saudi border, at Sa’da governorate, 12 civilians were injured, including 6 children by AC airstrikes at al Gababir area.

Arbitrary Detention:

Thousands of Yemeni civilians are under arbitrary detention at Houthis militia’s prisons in Sana’a, also at the prisons of the Security Belt and Hadhrami Elite in Aden and Hadhramout. SAM has documented 85 new cases of arbitrary detention, 80 by Houthis militia; in Sana’a, Dhamar, Taiz, and Hajjah.

On 22 February, security forces in Hadhramout, detained journalist Awad Kashmim, for opinion articles posted on his Facebook page.

Houthis militia also detained 10 children in Al-Baidha governorate on 21 February, and in Souq Al-Sameel, Taiz, lawyer Mohammed Abdulmalik Al-Sabri, was detained by an extremist group on 11 February. SAM also, documented detention of 13 civilians in Hajjah governorate by Houthis group.

Violations against Children:

SAM organization has documented 152 violations against children during the reporting period, mainly in Taiz, Sana’a, and Hodiedah, including 95 injuries, 7 by landmines, and 4 by snipers’ fire, in addition to 47 killings, 8 by landmines, and 5 by snipers’ fire.

SAM also documented child recruitment by Houthis militia in Sana’a, Dhamar, and Amran, as well in Shabwa by the Shabwani Elite.

SAM documented suspension cases of children from schools, due to fees imposed by Houthis militia, also received reports from students’ families that Houthis are mobilizing children with hate and intolerance speech, urging them to stop their children from attending to schools.

Violations against women:

SAM documented 51 violations against women during the reporting period, including 21 killings, 6 by landmines, 1 by sniper’s fire, by Houthis militia, also 4 by AC airstrikes, and 28 injuries.

Mines;

Houthis militia continued to use mines widely, without proper mapping thereby threatening civilians’ life at former areas of confrontation, where 82 cases of mines detonation were reported during February, killing 42 civilians and injuring 40 others, including 6 children.

Violations against Journalists and Human Rights Defenders:

SAM has documented continuous violations against journalists and human rights defenders, with 14 new cases of violations in Aden, Taiz, Hodiedah, Hadhramout, Hajjah and Amran, including 4 killings, 3 against human rights defenders in Hodiedah and 4 arbitrary detention cases and 2-armed assault cases.

Attacks on Public and Private Objects:

SAM has documented 52 attacks on public and private objects, 41 by Houthis militia, including 9 detonation and burning of houses, 4 looting of houses and companies, in addition to closure of hospital and sabotage of water project, while AC is responsible for 4 violations against public and private objects, including damage on houses, vehicles, bridge and telecommunication network, whereas 5 cased were documented against legitimate forces, including raiding a house, and 2 by unknown armed groups.

Recommendations;

  • SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties condemn all crimes included in this report which are considered as gross violations of the international humanitarian law and human rights law.
  • Urges the UN and humanitarian organizations to provide immediate aids to the displaced civilians and to work to lift the blockade of the besieged cities and villages.
  • Urges Arab Coalition to avoid targeting civilians and to review its rules of combat in accordance with the international laws and conventions.
  • SAM organization calls to spare children from ravages of war and calls upon the international community to take a firm stand against child recruitment which is increasing alarmingly,

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties,

Geneva, 21 March 2018