Stagnant Demands and Continuing Violations in the absence of International Accountability SAM
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A Decade after the Yemeni Revolution
Stagnant Demands and Continuing Violations in the absence of International Accountability

  
  
  
    
10/02/2021

Geneva- SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties stated that Yemenis’ demands and ambitions of a democratic state and just legal system continue to stagnate after 10 years of the revolution which demanded the toppling of the regime of the former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the empowerment of young people to exercise and claim their rights, stressing that the policy of impunity and failure to promote criminal accountability entrenched the violations against civilians during those years.

The international organization confirmed in its statement issued simultaneously with the tenth anniversary of Yemeni Revolution, which began on 11 February 2011, that Yemen has been suffering from the effects of the abuses and violations committed against the peaceful protesters in different areas in Yemen since that time.

“SAM” emphasized that over the last years, Yemen experienced heinous crimes committed by security forces affiliated with the President- at that time. These forces perpetrated tens of violations as the international organizations documented more than 30 massacres against the civilians in the various Yemeni governorates that caused the deaths of approximately 1200 people including 73 children and more than 10 women, and the injury of 20,000 including hundreds of wounded with  permanent disabilities resulting in depriving them of resuming their lives normally.

The international organization indicated that the first massacre experienced by the country during the uprising took place on March 18, 2011 and it is known as the “Friday of Dignity” massacre when the government security forces killed nearly 52 civilians and injured 617 others. The forces loyal to the President- at that time- Ali Abdullah Saleh committed another massacre against the civilians on 4 April 2011 when the security forces killed 19 people and injured more than 800 others while trying to suppress protests against the President in Taiz and Al-Hudaydah. The Yemeni people also have not forgotten the Holocaust of the Liberty Square in Taiz that took place on May 31, 2011. The crimes committed against the civilians increased along with high numbers of deaths and injuries which reflected the criminal mentality and the atrocious behavior of the security forces that meant to kill the civilians by using live ammunition.

For his part, Tawfik Alhamidi, Chairperson of SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, said, “The organizations during the revolution documented many repeated assaults and brutal violations of a set of fundamental rights protected under international law. The violations ranged from field executions, the use of unjustifiable force, illegal arrest and unlawful detention, systematic torture, the use of brutal methods of investigation and other violations.”

Alhamidi stressed, “The absence of the real international role since the revolution began, particularly the role of the United Nations General Assembly and the Security Council,  provided implicit cover for the security forces at that time to continue their gross violations against Yemenis. He also added that the policy of impunity was the biggest motivation of the perpetrators to continue their violations, and he called the international community and the parties concerned to necessarily exert their role in the protection of human rights in Yemen and to bring the security forces individuals who are implicated in the war crimes and crimes against humanity to justice.

On another front, “SAM” said that the weakness of the oversight bodies and judicial system in Yemen played a significant role in the deterioration of the human rights situation in the country and this deterioration was one of the factors that contributed to the ongoing violations against the civilians, particularly the Judicial system as it continues to suffer from serious deficiencies and unlawful intrusions since the former President Ali Sale’s time. The rights reports showed the lack of the judiciary role in regards to arresting the criminals who committed crimes against humanity in Yemen. They also indicated that the continuation of judicial system in its current form and in the lack of genuine will to reform the legal system would lead the parties to the conflict to continue committing violations against the innocent people.

The international organization stresses that the negative role of the international community and the lack of the effective role of inquiry and fact –finding commissions played a vital role in the declining of human rights indicators in Yemen. Moreover, it led to further escalations of the violations, especially arrests, intentional killing and illegal detention. It also emphasizes the need for the international community to assume its responsibility towards Yemen and to act immediately to halt the ongoing violations that have been perpetrated for years.

At the end of its statement, SAM Organization states that the continuing of atmosphere of impunity and absence of accountability for the crimes committed against the peaceful protesters, has given the perpetrators a permission to continue targeting the civilians. What Yemen is witnessing 10 years after the revolution proves beyond doubt that the human rights situation in the country is at its weakest. The persistence of situation without effective response from the warring parties to the provisions of international law or even without effective response from the international community to fulfil its obligations and responsibilities would worsen the humanitarian situation and increase the gravity of human rights violations among civilian population.

Therefore, it is time to reopen the file of human rights violations committed against the peaceful revolution protesters “11 February Revolution”. It is a shame if the perpetrators of these crimes go unpunished.