Today, Saturday December 31, 2022, SAM Organization issued a human rights report documenting human rights violations in areas under the control of the Yemeni government in Taiz, indicating that since 2015 the governorate has witnessed a violent and overlapping armed conflict, fueled by parties and sides seeking to exert influence and achieve material and political gains. This made the conflict special in comparison to the conflicts in other governorates, according to the report.
The report entitled “Taiz… Disturbed Security” presented examples of human rights violations committed in areas affiliated to the government in Taiz, most notably assassinations, extrajudicial executions, attacks on the population, inhumane treatment, arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance, and burglary. The report also listed the names of those responsible for the conflict and crimes, including (23) military, security and civilian leaders, in addition to entities, factions, armed gangs and influential personalities, under which (41) armed parties and influential figures fall.
The statistics collected by the report for the period from May 2015 to December 2021 show the killing of (823) people, during hostilities, or by assassinations, liquidations, torture, and incidents of security deterioration, including (409) civilians, (396) recruits, (12) members of extremist organizations, and (6) fighters of the Houthi group. Among the civilian deaths, 59 children and 32 women were killed. As for the wounded, their number reached (1224). This includes (668) civilians, (142) children and (46) women while the rest are soldiers and fighters.
The report released by "SAM" added that the organization monitored the detention of (269) victims, of whom (108) were recorded in the prisons of the Abu Al-Abbas Brigades, (78) in the prisons of the military and security government forces, (47) in the prisons of the 35th Armored Brigade, and (13) detention in extremist organizations’ prisons. Also, the detention of (22) by unknown parties was recorded. Furthermore, “SAM” monitored (32) victims of enforced disappearance, (9) of whom were released. The report also recorded (28) unofficial detention sites, of which (21) prisons were closed.
The report "Taiz.. Disturbed Security" stated that the conflict resulted in humanitarian, economic and social damage to the civilian population and affected the performance of local authorities that suffer from structural fragility in light of the government's remarkable absence in Taiz and its unwillingness to reduce the risks of lawlessness and end the military combat.
The report considered that the foreign interventions of the UAE and Saudi Arabia played a role in fueling the division between the armed formations affiliated with the Yemeni government and was reinforced by the government forces' fears of the UAE-backed military forces on the West Coast.
The "SAM" report indicated that the United Arab Emirates has fueled the conflict in Taiz through its support for the Abu al-Abbas Brigades, the joint forces on the West Coast, and, to a lesser extent, the 35th Armored Brigade, as well as influential political and local figures. The report added that other Gulf countries, including Qatar and Oman, are believed to have entered the conflict line since August 2019 by supporting influential figures who established armed formations.
The report demonstrated that the structural fragility of government forces and political polarization have drawn these forces into conflict and competition, in addition to a clear absence of government support and sufficient attention to the military and civil institutions in Taiz.
"SAM" called on the Public Prosecutor in Yemen and the Military Prosecutor to use their legal powers to open a comprehensive investigation into all the cases and incidents included in the report and to put pressure on the Public Prosecution Office in Taiz in order to exercise its role effectively, advance its legal roles, and avoid the negative state of its work, and open serious investigations into all cases and files included in the report.
The organization also called on the Yemeni government to work seriously to integrate all military and security formations in Taiz and link them to the Ministries of Defense and Interior, including the integration of military forces on the western coast of the governorate, and work to end the presence of any armed militia outside the legal and official frameworks.
The report contained recommendations regarding the immediate release of all detainees and forcibly disappeared persons, the closure of all private prisons, the subjection of prisons affiliated to the military brigades to the authority and supervision of the judiciary, and the cessation of all forms of inhumane treatment that occur in prisons, in addition to other recommendations and demands.