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In Conjunction with International Day for Countering Hate Speech
Hate Speech directly Contributed to Fueling the Conflict and Tearing the Social Fabric in Yemen

  
  
  
    
18/06/2022

Geneva - SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties stated that the continued escalation of hate speech by the parties to the conflict in Yemen through their statements and posting on social media and the exploitation of satellite channels contributes to the continuation of the fighting, and increases the worrying impacts on the lives of individuals. It is also going to cause more violations. SAM also emphasized that these practices are considered a serious infringement of what is recognized by international law, in addition to undermining any peaceful solution or effort that would achieve protection for individuals.

The organization indicated in a statement issued today, Saturday, which coincides with the International Day for Countering Hate Speech, corresponding to June 18 of each year, that an international recognition of such a day confirms that the spread of hate speech contradicts the values of peace, tolerance, and coexistence, which are enshrined in In the Charter of the United Nations and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

"SAM" stated that this day is a key opportunity for Yemenis first to renounce hate speech, which has become a wide field of rivalry and verbal violence on social media and public discussion spaces, calling on the international community to make a greater effort to protect the rights of individuals and ensure they enjoy the basic rights guaranteed to them by international law, at a time when Yemenis are still suffering from complex and serious violations that threaten civilians and deprive them of the enjoyment of those rights.

"SAM" pointed out that this day comes Yemenis are still suffering from the scourge of conflict fueled by hate speech and religious incitement, as well as depriving them of enjoying their basic rights.

The human rights organization indicated that all the parties to the conflict, since the beginning of the conflict, have relied on hate speech and incitement and mobilized all their intellectual, religious and historical tools, in addition to using all means necessary in order to justify their practices and abolish the other. These parties filled the minds of people and individuals with ideas of revenge, tribalism and racism, which had the effect of deepening violations against civilians, especially children and women.

The organization stressed that the Houthi group ranked first among all parties when it comes to using religious-based hate speech, exploiting religious occasions to plant ideas that incite murder and destruction against its opponents.

"SAM" stressed that the use of religious discourse by the Houthi group is not new as it monitored on several occasions that the Houthi group exploited that discourse in its operations and its military attack on many civilian neighborhoods in the city of Marib. Furthermore, SAM confirmed that the death threats documented by the organization reflect the real intention of this group to use excessive force and unjustified acts of violence against civilians through this kind of discourse.

The organization noted the confiscation of religious platforms such as mosques and replacing the preachers by others affiliated with the group, who mobilize to fight and incite against opponents, in addition to blowing up more than 200 mosques for their intellectual opponents.

On the other hand, the organization monitored the spread of regional-based hate speech among the activists affiliated with STC especially against the people of the northern regions.

The international organization also monitored hundreds of tweets on various social media platforms, which carried the meanings of incitement, threats and order to kill by some military and political leaders of the parties to the conflict, which contributed significantly to the deepening of violations and the increase in their number, especially since these discourses escalate dangerously before any military operation announced by these parties.

The international organization stresses that these and other practices are regarded as a flagrant violation of many international conventions and charters, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Hague rules and other international rules that criminalize the use of hate speech and religious or ethnic discourse in fueling conflicts and committing violations, calling upon all parties to urgently stop these practices and work to spread a discourse of tolerance, peace and unity.

SAM also emphasized that the continuation of the negative role of the international community and the facing hate speech and tribal discrimination with only press releases and media stances, will only lead to more terrible violations that will affect thousands of civilians, stressing the need for immediate and urgent action by the international community, headed by the Security Council, to end these practices through pressuring Parties to the conflict to stop them and impose penalties on violators.  

SAM concluded its statement by stressing the need to find a peaceful solution to the conflict in Yemen and to work on sponsoring an international conference to which all parties to the conflict in Yemen are invited for dialogue in preparation for building a democratic system that guarantees Yemenis their basic rights and political aspirations and protects them from the dangerous effects of the ongoing war in Yemen.