This article appears in the September 21, 2018 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Enough Documentation of Genocide Against Yemen: Act Now to Stop the War!
Sept. 13—While the American and European media are daily publishing fictional horror stories about an imagined, “coming humanitarian crisis of unseen proportions in Idlib, Syria,” an actual unspeakable, entirely man-made humanitarian crisis is taking place in Yemen at this very moment.
On September 11, INSAN for Human Rights and Peace in Yemen organized the first of its side events at the 39th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, which had opened the previous day in Geneva, Switzerland.
The INSAN event, “Human Rights Violations and Crimes against Children in Yemen by the Saudi Coalition,” was moderated by Dr. Hassan Fartousi, researcher in International Law at the University of Geneva. Dr. Fartousi presented the full atrocity currently underway against the people of Yemen.
The meeting opened with an absolutely shocking video of happy children, who only minutes later were killed by a Saudi-coalition airstrike on their school bus on Aug. 9, 2018. In that attack, 40 boys, ages six to eleven, were killed while on a school trip; eleven adults also died. The weapon was a laser-guided bomb made by Lockheed Martin, one of many thousands sold to Saudi Arabia as part of billions of dollars of weapons exports. Saudi Arabia is the biggest single customer for the U.S. and British arms industries, and both nations support the Saudi-led coalition, including with refueling and intelligence.
Speakers at the INSAN-sponsored event included Aiman Al-Mansour, the President of INSAN; Abdusalam Aldhahebi, activist of INSAN in Sweden; Elke Fimmen of the German Schiller Institute; and Randi Nord, an independent journalist and founder of Geopolitics Alert/USA, who presented documentation of the U.S. and British aid to Saudi Arabia.
Fimmen opened the panel’s presentations with her speech, “Justice for Yemen means Justice for the World,” underlining that it was the 9/11 attacks that began the series of disastrous geopolitical regime-change wars that have now brought civilization to the brink of super-power thermonuclear confrontation. She called for full publication of the existing evidence of the Saudi role in 9/11. The Schiller Institute, she said, has worked to bring about a Four-Power alliance for peace through development, and developed the “Felix Yemen” Reconstruction Plan in the context of the New Silk Road dynamic. It is only through such a complete shift in international relations that civilization will have a chance, she stressed. The UN experts’ report on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, presented in August 2018, clearly documents that the horrendous situation in Yemen has been brought about as a result of Saudi-coalition airstrikes and blockades. Fimmen called for wide circulation of the report and action on the level of the UN Security Council, to stop this war now.
Aiman Al-Mansour presented more shocking facts about attacks on civilians and the situation of children from the UN experts’ report in his speech, “Children under War in Yemen.” He contrasted the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child with the present reality in Yemen.
We include here relevant portions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, referenced by Aiman Al-Mansour:
Article 6.1—States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
Article 6.2—States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
Article 23.1—States Parties recognize that a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child’s active participation in the community.
Article 24.1—States Parties recognize the right of the child to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health and to facilities for the treatment of illness and rehabilitation of health. States Parties shall strive to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her right of access to such health care services.
Article 39—States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to promote physical and psychological recovery and social reintegration of a child victim of: any form of neglect, exploitation, or abuse; torture or any other form of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment; or armed conflicts. Such recovery and reintegration shall take place in an environment which fosters the health, self-respect and dignity of the child.
Abdusalam Aldhahebi concluded the panel, showing pictures of six Yemeni children, appealing to everybody to realize that we are not talking about numbers when we speak about civilian victims, but about precious individuals, all of whom have their own personal history and their own story—and that every one of these children has a right to life and to a future.
Right before this meeting, Abdusalam Aldhahebi, speaking on behalf of the Iraqi Development Organization (ODI), had the opportunity to deliver a hard-hitting, one minute statement to the ongoing plenary meeting of delegations, the press, and UN representatives, in which he called for swift delivery of the new UN high-level experts’ report (“Situation of Human Rights in Yemen, Including Violations and Abuses since September 2014,” published August 17, 2018, A/HRC/39/43, available at https://www.ohchr.org/Documents/Countries/YE/A_HRC_39_43_EN.pdf) to the members of the UN Security Council, for the purpose of taking immediate action to stop the war and the genocide caused by the Saudi-led coalition against civilians.
That report, under Section E. “Violations of International Law,” states in Section 1. Attacks Affecting Humans:
27: From March 2015 to June 2018, there were at least 16,706 civilian casualties, with 6,475 killed and 10,231 injured in the conflict; however the real figure is likely to be significantly higher.
28: Coalition air strikes have caused most of the documented civilian casualties. In the past three years, such air strikes have hit residential areas, markets, funerals, weddings, detention facilities, civilian boats and even medical facilities. . .
And, under E. 2. Access restrictions:
52: The harm to the civilian population caused by severely restricting naval imports [by the sea blockades] was foreseeable, given the country’s pre-conflict reliance on imports. By November 2017, the international community had repeatedly underscored the effects of the existing restrictions and had warned of the catastrophic effects of the announced closure of all ports. The duration of the restrictions raises additional concerns that systemic damage to the economy is occurring.
53: As of April 2018, nearly 17.8 million people were food insecure and 8.4 million were on the brink of famine. Health-care facilities were not functioning, clean water was less accessible and Yemen was still suffering from the largest outbreak of cholera in recent history. . .
This report had been acknowledged by the new UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet. In her opening presentation to the council’s session, Bachelet announced further investigations and the holding to accountability for war crimes all those who have been so accused by the experts reporting to her office. Bachelet referenced the horrible school bus massacre, and other horrific airstrikes that have left dozens of civilians and children killed and injured in Al Hudaydah. She also called the recent Saudi royal order, which practically provides a blanket pardon to members of the Saudi armed forces for actions taken in Yemen, “very concerning.”
Aldhabebi, while endorsing Bachelet’s statement, nevertheless insisted that since the crimes have been sufficiently documented over and over again, there should be no further delay in stopping the war now and beginning political peace negotiations, instead of waiting for yet another series of reports and investigations.
It is time for the hypocrisy stop. Those responsible for planning and conducting genocide and those guilty of tolerating it, have to be taken to account! If we do not defend civilization and the sacredness of each human being on this Earth, we will not escape the fate that Yemen is suffering now.