Amnesty accuses Saudi-led coalition of war crimes in Yemen

Amnesty International calls for suspension of weapons transfers to Saudi-led coalition in their report citing 'evidence of war crimes'

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

Residents look out from a window of their house that was damaged in a Saudi-led airstrike in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2015

London based human rights group Amnesty International said in a 40-page report released on Wednesday that Saudi-led coalition was committing war crimes in Yemen, as the organization claimed they found evidence regarding the usage of two types of cluster bombs that could have “devastating long-term consequences”.

Spokesperson of the Saudi-led coalition have denied the accusations of using cluster bombs in Yemen, saying that the claims were inaccurate.

Amnesty International has examined 13 air strikes by Saudi-led coalition carried out between May and July 2015 in the country.

According to the report, examined air strikes have killed about 100 civilians, including 59 children. Total number of people killed in the conflict is more than 4,000 and over one million have been displaced, Amnesty said.

Houthi forces were also accused of raining mortar shells onto populated areas and killing civilians.

Donatella Rovera from Amnesty International’s investigation team in Yemen said, "This report uncovers yet more evidence of unlawful air strikes carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, some of which amount to war crimes. It demonstrates in harrowing detail how crucial it is to stop arms being used to commit serious violations of this kind."

People watch as smoke billows from al-Qasr hotel after it was hit by explosions in the western suburbs of Yemen's southern port city of Aden, October 6, 2015

Saudi-led coalition started to carry out air strikes targeting the Iran-backed Houthi rebels in order to defend embattled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi on 26 March, after he fled to neighbouring Saudi Arabia and asked for help.

The coalition also runs training programmes and drops weapons for Yemeni fighters loyal to Hadi.

Amnesty also said that homes were attacked despite there being no evidence that they were being used for military purposes in the report titled as “Bombs fall from the sky day and night- Civilians under fire in Northern Yemen”.

Last week, United Nations children's agency also released a similar report saying that more than 500 have been children killed in Yemen since the Saudi-led coalition intervened in the conflict in March. 

In the recommendation section of the report, Amnesty International urged to halt transfers of certain arms to the coalition and called on the Saudi-led coalition to prevent civilian casualties by taking all feasible precautions and also stop using cluster munitions, which are internationally banned.

The group also demands an independent international inquiry for alleged violations by “all parties of the conflict” in order to identify the responsible parties.


TRTWorld and agencies