‘Unlawful civilian deaths in Yemen’: HRW urges US, UK, France to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Mar 24th, 2016 | By | Category: News Posts
The US, France, and the UK risk complicity in unlawful civilian deaths in Yemen, according to HRW. The organization called on the countries to suspend all weapons sales to Saudi Arabia until it curtails its airstrikes and investigates alleged violations.

“For the past year, governments that arm Saudi Arabia have rejected or downplayed compelling evidence that the coalition’s airstrikes have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen,” Philippe Bolopion, the deputy global advocacy director for Human Rights Watch (HRW), said in a public release.

“By continuing to sell weapons to a known violator that has done little to curtail its abuses, the US, UK, and France risk being complicit in unlawful civilian deaths,” he continued.

Saudi bombers take off. Saudi Air Force has bombed virtually every hospital and school in Yemen

Saudi bombers take off. Saudi Air Force has bombed virtually every hospital and school in Yemen

‘Unlawful airstrikes’

HRW says it has documented 36 unlawful airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, some of which may amount to war crimes. The strikes include attacks on schools, hospitals, and homes, with “no evidence they were being used for military purposes.” According to the organization, those strikes have led to the deaths of at least 550 civilians.

The organization also cited a UN Panel of Experts on Yemen from January, in which the panel had “documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations” of the laws of war, and noted that Amnesty International has documented 26 strikes that were apparently unlawful. Read more

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