SAM Launches Its Second Report on Human Rights Situation in Yemen during 2017 SAM
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SAM Launches Its Second Report on Human Rights Situation in Yemen during 2017

  
  
  
    
09/09/2018

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties, based in Geneva, published its second report titled “The Forgotten Land 2”, which addresses human rights situation in Yemen during 2017.

Lawyer Tawfeq Al-Humeidi, chairman of SAM, said that the fifteen monitors of the organization, had verified 68526 violations committed during the reporting period, and interviewed 821 individuals, personally or by phone calls, during 1 January 2017, to mid-March 2018, however, the violations included in this report, are for the year 2017.

In the its report on human rights violations during 2017, SAM indicated that it has documented the killing of 2044 civilians, including 380 children, and 186 women, and the Arab Coalition topped the list of the violators to the right to life, with 894 killings, representing 54%, followed by Houthis militia, with 797 killings, at 41%, anonymous parties 181 killings at 9%, the legitimated authority and its fighting groups with 54 killings at 3%, terrorist groups, with 50 killings, at little more than 1%, followed by the US drones attacks, with 37%, a little more than 1%.

Violations of the physical integrity come next, with 3068 cases, during the reporting period, including 829 children and 329 women among civilians. However, the casualties reported are limited to the cases that SAM managed to reach and verify.

According to the report, causes of the casualties among civilians, varied, between indiscriminate Katyusha and artillery shelling, on civilians areas, especially in Taiz, which topped the list with 2031 injured civilians, and Arab Coalition airstrikes, led by the Saudi Arabia, and UAE at different parts of Yemen, followed by landmines, laid by Houthis militia, at residential and public areas, such as main roads, farms, and grazing areas, in addition to the US drones attacks.

In 2017 report, SAM has documented 232 informal prisons, 180 operated by Houthis group, 25 by UAE-funded forces, 15 by fighting groups affiliated to the legitimate government, and 11 by the government forces. SAM has documented the imprisonment of 3966 civilians in these prisons, including 3258 at Houthis prisons, 583 at UAE-backed security forces, and 86 by armed groups affiliated to the legitimate government.

SAM said in the report that most of the detainees were exposed to different levels of torture, where some were tortured to death, and others sustained severe injuries and disability. Torture included mock execution, tie the private organ and deprivation of urine for long hours, sexual harassment, the threat of rape, standing for long hours in the sun, hanging from hands, electric shocks, burying the whole body up to the neck, beating with rifle butts, and depriving of food.

The detention facilities are not under legal authority, lack minimum legal standards of prisons, with inhumane prison conditions, where scores of detainees locked in one room and bathroom. Prisons were in fact houses, basements, newly built houses, or goods containers, as seen in Al-Rayan airport, which is under UAE authorities’ control.

The report documented 100 torture cases, including 80 in Houthis prisons, and 2 in the UAE-supervised and funded prisons in Aden and Hadhramout governorates.

The Forms of torture include mock executions, tie the private organs, depriving of urinating for hours, sexual harassment, the threat of rape, forcing to stand for hours under the sun, ranging from hands, electric shocks, burial till neck, beating by gun butts, and denial of food.

Means of torture that SAM has verified, are that lead to death or cause severe pains, include electricity shock, burial of victims, mock execution, nail removal, plucking the beard, standing at narrow rooms for long hours, spray with cold water all night, depriving from sleep, beating savagely, depriving from food, beating on old wounds and denial of medication.

SAM has documented 207 violations against journalists, including 3 were killed while reporting on the fighting, by snipers or indiscriminate bombing. Some journalists were also arbitrarily detained and tortured in Aden, in 20th camp, one of the UAE-supervised and funded Security Belt camps, also others were harassed in Aden, Sana’a, Taiz and Mareb.

During the reporting period, SAM documented 128 violations against rights activists, including 3 female activists. Violations distributed into, 2 killings, 100 arbitrary detention, mainly in Hodiedah (42), 4 physical assaults, 3 threats, 10 attacks on private objects,  including houses detonation.

According to the report, Houthis – Saleh militia bear the major responsibility with, followed by the UAE-baked security forces, and military units affiliated to the legitimate government. While the Houthis group topped the list with 106 violations.

SAM has documented 2381 violations against children during 2017, including 1600 child recruitment, 829 physical abuses, 380 violations to the right to life by the Arab Coalition airstrikes, sniping by Houthis snipers, and indiscriminate shelling by Houthis on residential areas in Taiz, Mareb, Lahaj and Al-Baidha.

The violations documented included; 148 arbitrary detention, 50 casualties by mines laid by Houthis group at the residential areas.

Violations against women during the reporting period reached 562 violations, including 182 killings, 329 injuries and maiming, with the highest shares goes to Taiz at 356 violations.

SAM has documented 381 violations against women by Houthis militia, 153 by the Arab Coalition airstrikes, 6 by US drones, 9 by government military formations.

The total number of violations to the right of education during the reporting period has reached 73 violations, in addition to the suspension of teachers’ salaries which has negatively impacted the education process.

In the 2017 report on Human Rights Situation in Yemen, SAM indicated that civilian activists and journalists in Aden city were exposed to intimidation and terrorizing campaign by extremist groups, some of them are affiliated to the Salafi leader Hani bin Breek, ho is loyal to the UAE, leading to the killing of the some of them.

SAM has documented in the report, damage of 616 houses in 2017, some by the intentional demolition of opponents houses by Houthis group, breaking into houses without regard to the privacy, tampering, and looting of the house, particularly at conflict zones where Houthis displace the tenants.

According to the report, Houthis – Saleh militia topped the list of the parties responsible for violations related to the private objects and properties, where they’ve detonated 78 houses, and 120 houses raided and looted by force. SAM has documented 324 violations on public objects, in 2017, including mosques, schools, hospitals, historical monuments, roads and bridges, security and government facilities, some by Arab Coalition airstrikes and others by Houthis militia bombing.

The report also addressed the archaeological sites in Yemen, noting that many cultural monuments were exposed to heavy damage, urging UNESCO pleads to the conflicting parties to spare the archaeological sites from any military purposes and targeting.

The report indicated that the most important sites that were attacked are; Bilqis throne in Mareb, and the northern canals of old Mareb dam, Sana’a old city, old Sa’da city, Al-Kahera citadel in Taiz, Al-Ameria citadel in Al-Baidha, Sera citadel in Aden, the national museum in Krater, and Braqish city in Al-Jouf.  Also, indiscriminate laying of mines has damaged large areas of agricultural land.

SAM warned that the collapse of the health system resulted in the outbreak of cholera, and other epidemics. Also, marine mines affected the coral reefs and fishes in the Red Sea, also the airstrikes on the fisher’s boats polluted the sea water, and the ecosystem in Socotra and Meyun islands was damaged due to the practices of UAE forces.

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The full report here