International League for Yemen War Crimes moves for justice

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SHAFAQNA – The forgotten war of the Middle East, Yemen has suffered and endured more than its fair share of hardship over the past 11 months – a bleeding wound, which pain has been denied and ignored on account a powerful elite has sought the engineering of a people for they dared spoke freedom, self-governance and dignity, Yemen has been denied the dignity of the truth.

Alone, abandoned to the darkness of propaganda and political manipulation, 26 million people have lived under the fire of a war which has been more furious and bloody than any other in its history.

This great war of the Yemen has unravelled in the shadow of corporate media, blanketed by majority interests and corporate PR …. The holy grail of capitalism!

But while a grand coalition of powers has gathered around War’s table to craft and draft its legions of hell, forever unleashing the ignominious and the perfidious onto an already economically fatigued nation, Yemen has not yet sung its last song. This poorest and most unruly country of Southern Arabia, has Resistance in its lungs and Defiance in its DNA.

The sons and daughters of Arabia are quite determined in fact to stand their ground, until ground there is no more … Yemen’s fight it needs to be understood is for survival, not political scoring.

While Yemen has called upon its own to rise an army against Saudi Arabia’s imperialism and Wahhabism, as tribal allegiances are being forged to withstand mercenaries’ onslaught against northern Yemen, another kind of resistance has risen –  one calling for justice.

It is Kim Sharif, the head of the International League for Yemen War Crimes and director for Human Rights for Yemen who said, “Justice is truth in action.”

Yemen as it were, is desperately trying to get its truths out there – those ugly realities Riyadh still ambition to cover up for fear its regime would be publicly defamed.

Although still not in the limelight, rights defenders, independent individuals and groups have come together to form a potent network of resistance, intent on denouncing those crimes the world has worked to ignore.

Yemeni delegates, experts and supporters will present a report before the United Nations Human Rights Panel on March 10th, 2016 which denounces the illegal use of Cluster ammunitions against civilian populations and the deteriorating humanitarian situation – on behalf of Khiam Rehabilitation Center for Victims of Torture, and in cooperation with the International Council Supporting Fair Trial and Human Rights.

Parallel to such efforts, the International League for Yemen War Crimes announced on February 18, 2016 in London that it would be pursuing every legal avenue at its disposal to pursue and indict those individuals, groups, or powers which have committed, or allowed atrocities in Yemen in the name of political, ideological, or financial gain.

The International League for Yemen War Crimes which represents several rights groups and NGOs, hopes all their combined voices, and expertise will allow for actions to manifest on the ground, and for justice to be served.

In the face of a rising War Lobby against Yemen, this poorest nation of Southern Arabia has been allowed to waste away under a brutal, protracted and systematic military campaign against both its people and its state infrastructures.

The forgotten, siege, the forgotten genocide, Yemen has been the forgotten people … The League very much intends to change minds and win hearts by demanding that justice be served, that truths be heard, and that damages be assigned where due.

With the full complicity of the US and NATO, the Saudi-led coalition has bombarded a blockaded Yemen for well over 10 months, with no respite for civilian populations. Schools, hospitals, places of worship, historical landmarks, UNESCO heritage sites, civilian infrastructures, and residential areas have been reduced to rubbles under the fury of an air campaign which has sought only complete and utter annihilation.

Since March 2015, over 10,000 men, women and children have been massacred – a number the UN has yet to admit to. Under pressure from Riyadh to redact the diaries of Yemen’s war, UN officials have played number crunching and data compressing to give this war of aggression a veneer of legitimacy.

But everything which was meant to stay hidden is now surfacing: the ugly, the cruel, and the diabolical.

Battered, bloodied, starving and alone Yemen has nevertheless resisted a grand resistance!

In the face of absolute hopelessness, and before the world’s silence Yemen has anchored itself in Resistance, hoping the voice of its people will carry over the fury of War – this implacable “deity” certain powers appear to have sold themselves to.

Beyond political lines, beyond ambitions and vanity there is no denying that war crimes and crimes against humanity have been committed in Yemen, against Yemen – such positions and statements are no longer allegations, but documented facts.

Earlier this January a report published by a panel of UN experts actually established beyond the shadow of a doubt that harrowing abuses had been in fact carried out against civilians, as part of a systematic efforts to inflict harm.

Yemen is no longer just a humanitarian black hole, or a country plagued by war. Yemen has become ground zero for a genocidal campaign which stands to claim 22 million souls.

Of Yemen 26 million people, 22 million are now facing famine … not hunger, but death by starvation.

Communities in the north have been cut off access to water and electricity – never mind food and medicine. Villages have been hit again and again by Saudi-operated drones for their faith displeased Riyadh’s Wahhabi clergy.

Being Zaidi in Yemen is a mortal sin (branch of Shia Islam), being anti-Saudi imperialism is a blasphemy against the kingdom passable of death … through the air raids and the engineered starvation, through the targeting of children in strawberry fields and the destruction of hospitals and aid convoys, the world has stood silent, blind and deaf.

Armed of its testimonies, footage, and pictures, the League intends to command attention, and turn promises into actions.

“As Yemen bleeds rivers of blood, as its skies are turned to ashes and its children are buried as they lay in their sleep, the world has watched idly … nursed into a stupor by the billions of dollars certain powers have been able to hand state officials and media outlets.

This ends now! This sad state of affair needs to end here, and now! The UN must fulfil its purpose!” said Kim Sharif.

She added: “Such words as democracy, freedom, sovereignty and self-governance remains mirages without accountability and justice.

Let’s not allow for the darkness to reclaim the ground we once swear to conquer against its agents.”

Beginning February 28, the League will launch a campaign under the banner, #StandUp4JusticeInYemen on social media.

Let’s make some noise!

By Catherine Shakdam – This article appeared first in the American Herald Tribune

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