Speaking truth in the Yemen – The International League for Yemen War Crimes launches its campaign

SHAFAQNA – On February 18, 2016, the International League for Yemen War Crimes announced to the world the launch of its campaign against those powers which haver purposely targeted and endangered civilian population in Yemen, to further their agendas – might it be political advancement, covert neo-colonialism or even religious eugenics.

Since March, 25, 2015 Yemen has suffered under the fire of a war which has been both implacable and inhumane – over 10,000 people, among whom thousands of women and children have perished under harrowing conditions: bombing, chemical attacks, engineered starvation, poisoned water systems, lack of medicine, displacement … the list goes on.

Determined to lift the veil on what will likely be remembered as the shame of a generation of men, the International League for Yemen War Crimes, headed by Kim Sharif, will take to the UN on February 28, 2016 to denounce, list and reveal those war crimes and crimes against humanity powers have carried out against both Yemen and the Yemeni people.

A vocal advocate for human rights and international law, Kim Sharif is also the director of the Human Rights for Yemen and a rather prominent lawyer in the UK. A woman of integrity, Ms Sharif told Shafaqna in exclusive comments how her team of experts and activists very much intend to demand that justice be served.

Should Ms Sharif, and her team be successful in their quest for justice and legal accountability, the likes of Saudi Arabia, the UK and other actors in the war against Yemen will face some difficult questions indeed.

According to the International Criminal Court “Crimes against humanity” include any of the following acts committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack:

  • murder;
  • extermination;
  • enslavement;
  • deportation or forcible transfer of population;
  • imprisonment;
  • torture;
  • rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, or any other form of sexual violence of comparable gravity;
  • persecution against an identifiable group on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious or gender grounds;
  • enforced disappearance of persons;
  • the crime of apartheid;
  • other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering or serious bodily or mental injury.

While many observers will argue that the International League for Yemen War Crimes’ efforts are pointless in that the United Nations will likely brush all, and every accusation, however well-backed and documented in the name of political favouritism and nepotism, the group remains adamant truths need to be spoken before they can become empowerment.

“While the powers that be will likely attempt to derail, or minimize our reach, the truth has a way of standing on its own legs … Our goals is to expose, and tell Yemen’s truth … we want to expose those lies, and those manipulations people have mistaken for realities, and reclaim our power to change nefarious political dynamics. Yemen deserves the courtesy of a future. Yemen deserves to be heard and seen by the world community,” said Kim Sharif in an interview with Shafaqna.

Earlier this January a panel of UN experts already postulated that Saudi Arabia committed war crimes in Yemen amounting to crimes against humanity.

The report by the UN panel that monitors the conflict in Yemen for the Security Council, sparked calls by rights groups for the United States and Britain to halt sales of weapons to Saudi Arabia that could be used in such attacks.

The panel of experts documented 119 coalition sorties “relating to violations of international humanitarian law” and said that “many attacks involved multiple air strikes on multiple civilian objects.”

By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna

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