‘Saudi Arabia is legally responsible for war crimes in Yemen,’ insists Nobel Laureate

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The Yemeni activist and 2011 Nobel Laureate Tawakkol Karman has said that Saudi Arabia is “legally responsible” for all the crimes of the Arab coalition it leads in her country.

“Saudi Arabia is the one who is leading the coalition formally and practically… This is what the world knows and what has been announced,” Karman wrote on Facebook. “Saudi Arabia therefore bears legal responsibility for all the crimes committed by the Arab Coalition, whether the perpetrator is Saudi Arabia or one of the member states. To say that the UAE is guilty of laundering Saudi crimes, on the one hand, and tempting the Saudi army to continue to mess with the Yemenis’ lives, on the other, is useless.”

The human rights activist made her comment after it was reported that the French judiciary has opened an investigation against Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed who is accused of complicity in the torture of prisoners in Yemen detention centres controlled by the UAE armed forces. The French can look into such cases on the basis of universal jurisdiction.

The Yemeni government accuses the UAE of supporting the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) to achieve its own goals in Yemen. This is something that the UAE government in Abu Dhabi usually denies.

“They held Saudi Arabia responsible and prepared to make it pay the price… Will they stop? Who will protect our country from their evil agenda?” asked Karman.

READ: Yemen’s Houthis call for committee to investigate Saudi, UAE ‘coalition crimes’

On the military level in Yemen, the Coastguard and security forces announced their withdrawal from the island of Socotra, following the intervention of forces loyal to the UAE-backed STC. According to Abd Al-Moein Ghanem, the Coastguard Commander in Socotra port, his forces withdrew as a result of the evasions and arrests conducted by the STC. “We hold the [Saudi] 808 duty forces responsible for the illegal violations that occur, as the Coastguard administration is not responsible for the actions of the Southern Transitional Council,” he explained.

A local government official told Anadolu Agency: “Since controlling Hadiboh, the capital of Socotra, on 19 June, the Southern Transitional Council is trying with all its might to control the port and interfere in the work of the civil, military and security administration of the government, especially with regard to allowing the entry of ships.” The STC militia, he pointed out, has arrested the Coastguard commander on more than one occasion, as well as the security forces in Socotra port in order to put pressure on him to hand over his duties to one of its members, but it failed to achieve this.”

In a related context, a Yemeni security official was killed yesterday in Abyan Governorate, in the south of the country. A military source reported that a senior officer of the government’s Special Security Forces, Abdullah Adqaf Al-Hanashi, was killed in an ambush carried out by unknown assailants. One of Al-Hanashi’s companions was also killed in the attack, and another was wounded.

READ: Britain is two-faced over Saudi Arabia

Middle East Monitor

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