SAM Condemns the Security Chaos in Taiz, and Call to held Perpetrators Accountable SAM
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SAM Condemns the Security Chaos in Taiz, and Call to held Perpetrators Accountable

  
  
  
    
23/08/2020

The Geneva-based SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties said that the government security and military authorities in Taiz Governorate must stand to their constitutional and legal duties to protect civilians, abide by the human rights standards, and expose all individuals responsible for the chaos in the areas under its control, by elements affiliated to the security and army forces SAM called for a transparent and comprehensive investigation into all crimes committed during the previous period, including extrajudicial killing, vandalism and looting of private objects, and all forms of violations against the civilians, which are punishable by law.
 
Tawfiq Al-Humeidi, head of the organization, said, "civilians in Taiz should feel safe while wandering with their children in the streets of the city, or at their homes. The practice of weapon chaos falls within the scope of extrajudicial killings, and the security authorities must do their duty with complete independence." Al-Humeidi added: "There is a clear defect in adherence to human rights principles by security personnel while carrying out security tasks, as there are gross and serious violations of human rights including murder, without real accountability for the perpetrators of these violations, which raises questions on the of security and the role of its personnel in the areas controlled by the Yemeni government in Taiz in light of these chaos, where a climate conducive to impunity prevails among civilians, of the perpetrators of murder and destabilization of public order.
 
SAM emphasized that extrajudicial killings by the security services and those affiliated with the military forces, constitute a serious violation of international human rights law, and may also tantamount to crimes against humanity, especially in light of their systematic perpetration by known gangs that have a specific arrangement, impose royalties and commit retaliatory practices The organization documented two incidents in its statement, pending issuing a comprehensive statement "soon" on the events of Taiz during the last period.
 
On August 9, 2020, five people were killed, including two civilians, in clashes between armed gangs most of its members belonged to the government forces, and among the dead was a child under 13 years, who was subjected to extrajudicial execution inside his family's home, when one of the gang shot him with a hail of bullets, simply because he is relative to one of the wanted by the gang.
 
One of the child's relatives said to SAM, “At 2 p.m., during lunch, we were surprised by bullets that hit the walls of the house. We hid in behind the staircase, and armed men were trying to break into the house. The gunmen stormed the house amidst an inhabitant crying and panic, one of the gang members told me: Where is Ayman? I told him he is not there! He replied: We want his father. We hid the father, fearing for his life
 
The relative continues to say at that time the child Ayham, 13 years, was shivering from the sounds of gunfire. We told him, “Sit under the sink, they will not do anything to you because you are young.” This is what we and his sister and his sister expected. The gunmen entered the room and found no one, and when someone looked under the sink, he saw Ayham, and said there is one here, so he shot him with a bullet in the hand and a bullet in the kidney. Ayham shouted, "O aunt, help me." I put on my clothes to rescue him, but the enemy of humanity came back and swore not to help him, and pulled his gun on me, and said I will kill you, and he went to Ayham and shot more bullets from his automatic weapon on his tiny body, and ordered us to leave the house. We walked, not knowing where to go, a man called us and we entered his house; Moments later, we saw our house burning, and my husband was in it, and had it not been for God’s mercy, my husband would also have died with Ayham, but now he has burns and the gang is still looking for him! ''
 
On July 7, 2020, recruits from the Al-Jahmiliya Police station "The Martyr Al-Maghbshai"; Abd al-Rahman Muhammad Abdul-Malik and Safwan Ahmad Abdullah Qasim, and gunmen affiliated with a person called "Tahnoun", member of the 22nd Mechanical Brigade, killed the humanitarian activist and the head of the "Rahma" Foundation, Khalil Numan Al-Faqih, 35, insida A house in Taiz city, and prevented his aid, and wounded one of his friends, who tried to help him with others;
 
SAM interviewed the witnesses, one of the injured, and the victim's relatives, and read the incident report which indicate that government forces committed the crime of extrajudicial execution against the victim.
 
A relative of the victim said, “Khalil was preparing a report at the house of one of his colleagues in the foundation, and they heard the door knocking and one of them was asking about Khalil. The owner of the house opened the door and found an armed man, who asked Khalil to come with him, so Khalil asked him what he wanted? He answered: You are wanted to the police station, Khalil told him: We are now at night and in the morning I will come. The gunman cut off the electricity to the house, and behind him another masked gunman approached and fired a bullet from his automatic weapon at the tiles in the hall of the house, shrapnel flew out and hit him in his leg, so the other gunman entered the house and took Khalil by force, then fired a bullet at him which entered from his back and exited from his stomach. Khalil managed to escape and quickly return to the house while he was bleeding, calling for help and managed to call his friends.
 
One of his friends, who came to help him, says, "I arrived near the house and found an armed gang besieging it, and recruits on a military patrol affiliated to "Tahnoun" and soldiers from the police station demanding Khalil to go out to them, while Khalil replies that he is injured.
I went to Khalil with the head of the neighborhood and reassured him, and we took him over the patrol vehicle and I got in with him, so the gunmen assaulted him and hit him with rifle butts, I intervened to prevent the attack, so one of the gunmen shot me in the thigh, so Khalil was terrified of what happened and jumped out of the vehicle, so the recruits chased him in the street and shot him. Then they took us on the vehicle to the military hospital, and the hospital refused to admit us, so the recruits took us to Al-Thawra Hospital and threw us in the corridors of the hospital and fled. Khalil was admitted to the intensive care room, but he died the same night, while his friend received due medical care.
 
One of the relatives of Khalil, added, “The Jahmiliya Police station threatened the witnesses to retract their testimony. They also threatened the family of Khalil’s colleague who works with him in the foundation, to retract their report, and we were surprised days after the incident that the family of Khalil’s colleague had left their residence to an unknown location, perhaps to another province.
 
SAM found out that despite the arrest warrant against "Muhammad Abdul-Ghani Tahnoun" in connection with the incident, he was not arrested until the moment of this statement, as the influence and weapons of some members of the security or military forces became an immunity against accountability for committing unlawful acts, This made the city of Taiz and the areas controlled by the Yemeni government at the mercy of those who did not receive adequate legal training in the principles of security and military service and the principles of human rights, nor were they accountable until now.
 
On August 12, the Taiz police announced the arrest of Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi, one of the most notorious leaders of the armed gangs, accused of leading a gang that killed many civilians in confrontations and clashes in the city center, in addition to announcing the arrest of Majed Al-Araj and Omar Al-Sharabi, who are also wanted by the security services.
 
On August 15, Taiz police announced a list of (11) wanted elements, in connection with the clashes and chaos in the city of Taiz.
Although a number of activists interviewed by SAM are skeptical about the seriousness of the measures taken by the security authorities, based on their record in manipulating similar cases, especially with the announcement of the arrest of the Ghazwan al-Mikhlafi many times before, and releasing him without referring him to the prosecution, and based on information about the presence of military and civilian power centers local and regional, standing behind the influence of these gangs and supporting them, which caused a serious division within society; However, SAM hopes that the security authorities will be serious this time in arresting all leaders and members of the armed gangs, and that these measures will lead to the try them and those behind them.
 
The Yemeni Law on Crimes and Punishments No.12 of 1994 and its amendments prohibit these acts as serious crimes, the punishments of which range from death to imprisonment from three to ten years and compensation.
In the actions of these armed gangs feature serious crimes of public danger, including the formation of armed gangs, resistance to the authorities, disturbance of public tranquility and public security, attacks on the right to life, robbery, vandalism and looting of private and public property, exposing people's lives and interests to danger and harm, and others crimes.
 
The law also imposes strict penalties that reach into death penalty when the aggravating circumstances of the crime are available if the actions of these gangs result in the killing of a human being, and their punishment cannot be waived or for their perpetrators to be waived even with pardon from the blood guardians, which indicates sufficiency in legislative texts commensurate with the danger of these crimes and their consequences, and makes it the authorities' duty to implement those provisions to end these criminal phenomena.
 
SAM monitors the human rights situation in Taiz in a more comprehensive manner, whether in areas under the control of the Houthis militia in the east and north of Taiz, or areas under government control in central and southern Taiz, or those controlled by military forces backed by the United Arab Emirates, west of Taiz. The organization stresses that it is working to monitor the behavior and performance of the leadership of these three authorities and document violations of human rights and humanitarian law, to the same extent, it is keen to document all crimes of gangs, armed factions, paramilitary formations and influential personalities.
 
The organization works to study all cases of killing and chaos of clashes that occurred in Taiz, whether between factions and armed gangs, or between formations of government forces, and the organization has sent a number of messages to a number of authorities and security, military and civilian officials, including the governor, to answer a set of questions that will reflect the other point of view in the event of response and interaction, and a report will be issued on the areas affiliated with the Yemeni government in Taiz that includes all this information.