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SAM: United Arab Emirates-Backed Security Belt Forces are Responsible for Serious Violations against Yemenis


Geneva- SAM organization said the security belt command and forces in southern Yemen, supported by the United Arab Emirates, bear full legal and criminal responsibility for the escalation of legal violations against civilians in the southern governorates, noting that 75 violations were recorded during January and February of 2021, 28 arrests, including 4 cases of forced concealment, 12 cases of assassination and murder, 5 cases of attacks on public and private property.

In a statement issued today Friday, the organization highlighted several separate incidents, through which members of the security belt forces committed serious violations against civilians without any legal justification. The first incident resulted in the abduction of a number of civil servants of the local authority in the province of Marib while travelling to Aden for a training workshop of the Ministry of Local Administration.

SAM was briefed on a memorandum issued on  March 2nd  2021 by the Ministry of Local Authority to the Province of Marib requesting that some local authority managers be allowed to attend a training workshop at the Ministry's headquarters in  Aden governorate  from 7 - 8  March 2021 on 2nd of  March 2021," as It heard audio recordings of local intermediaries, and the main detainees are Hassan Al Qashay, a member of Muslim Hands, Mohamed Al Bazali "Director of the Office of the Governor of Marib Gov," Mohamed al-Abadi ,  Engineer Ali  Qasim Bhaibah" and Luqman  Al Bazali "

According to information obtained by SAM, the detention of these persons took place in Abyan Governorate at a so-called checkpoint Hassan, on Saturday, 06 March 2021, as they went on a work mission to the city of Aden. SAM adds, these people have been transferred to the headquarters of the 5th Brigade Support and Defence, located in Rudfan District, Lahjj gov, which follows the brigadier general Mukhtar al - Nubi, stressing that these individuals are still abducted by the Security Belt Forces, who consider them prisoners and they would be exchanged for persons who had been arrested during military battles in Abyan Governorate between government forces and the Transitional Council.

The second incident resulted in the death of a citizen, Saleh al-Azebi, 57 years old from the Khanfar district, Abyan Governorate, who was killed by the Security Belt Forces, after they shot him directly on 10 January 2021 following an altercation between him and a military force that came to his land to prevent him from building a mosque without any judicial or construction prevention order being produced. Testimonies obtained by SAM from the workers who accompanied Saleh showed that an altercation between the security belt forces led by Ali Salim al - Husseini and Saleh, who refused to obey the members of the military belt and demanded that the workers continue their work, prompting them to shoot him directly and he died immediately.

SAM noted that, despite a warrant issued by the Public Prosecutor's Office for the arrest of Al-Husseini and his co-accused, the arrest warrants were still in place and the "Al-Husseini" and his force were still at the head of their work.

The third incident was the abduction by Security Belt Forces of a citizen named "Miyas Maher Abdallah," who was taken on 7 March from the front of his home to the Fifth Brigade's force headquarters, led by a person named "Saleh Al-Sayed," who follows the Security Belt Forces financed by the Emirates without a charge or arrest warrant. The organization stated that the attempts of "Miyas" family to communicate with certain parties as Aden's security director and its governor and Lahjj governor did not bear fruit to find out the reason for the arrest or even to check on him.

Tawfiq al-Hamidi, President of SAM Rights and Liberties, said in his statement that , "The repeated abductions and arbitrary arrests carried out by the Security Belt Forces prove beyond doubt that the continuation of the policy of terrorism against those whom it sees as opponents of the policy of the Transitional Council ,and that the cases we repeatedly document demonstrate the retaliatory and exclusive mentality of those forces in deliberately directing their violations against civilians without any legal justification.

And he added : "The United Arab Emirates shares the criminal and legal responsibility for the escalation of violations against civilians in areas under the command of the security belt, and the international community has the responsibility for its silence and negative attitude towards the recurrence of such incidents, which involve serious breaches of international law.

SAM organization stresses that such practices constitute a flagrant violation of a series of legal norms, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Rome Charter of the International Criminal Court and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance, which criminalized attacks on the right to life, physical integrity and liberty from detention, and stresses that the security belt forces and UAE are guilty of the violation of these legal norms.

SAM concluded its statement by calling on the security belt forces to immediately release all abductees. It also called on the UAE to cease its full support for the security belt forces immediately, stressing its call on the international community to intervene and to provide full protection to civilians , and to force the Security Belt forces and the United Arab Emirates to end their repeated violations against civilians and to set up a fact-finding commission in the aftermath of repeated violations by those forces.