Yemen: Saudi-led Coalition Destruction of Heritage and History

18th March 2016

Written by: Vanessa Beeley

The following is the transcript of the intervention in UNHRC council given by Yousra Alharazi of Arabian Rights Watch Coalition:

Arabian Rights Watch Association  (ARWA)

About Us

Arabian Rights Watch Association (ARWA) is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization based in the District of Columbia and is comprised of global members including human rights activists, lawyers, professionals and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities.

The acronym ARWA is also the name of Yemen’s long reigning Queen Arwá bint Aḥmad ibn Muḥammad al-Ṣulayḥī, who governed from 1067 until her death in 1138. Queen Arwa was known as the greatest of the ruler of the Sulayhid Dynasty. She is popularly referred to as the Little Queen of Sheba al-Malika al-Hurra translated as the Free Noble.

At ARWA, we take her legacy as an example of the oppressed minority whose basic human rights have been denied. We believe that all people should be treated with respect and dignity with equal rights under the law. We will seek to identify failures to do so, and advocate on behalf of these individuals to ensure that their struggle is brought to light and action is taken for redress.

Mission

ARWA defends the rights of people worldwide with a particular focus on the Arabian Peninsula. Our global presence and local nexus allows us to investigate abuses on the ground, expose the facts, and promote the rights of all people through activism and advocacy. ARWA is an independent, international organization that works to uphold and protect human dignity and advance the cause of human rights for all.

Core Values

Defend basic human rights

Independence of the individual to choose their beliefs and perform peaceful activism

Integrity by the government and other parties to protect the rights of the people

Neutrality to allow all to be treated equally before the law without prejudice

Justice to ensure that action is taken against those who violate minimum international human rights requirements

old sanaa collage

Old Sanaa Before and After Saudi Coalition Air-strikes

Here is the transcript:

ITEM #3: Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and

Cultural rights, including the right to development

DATE: Friday, 11 Mar 2016

TIME: 12pm

Speaker: Yousra Alharazi

NGO: Iraqi Development Organization

Mr. President,

IDO, together with the European Centre for Democracy and Human Rights, and Arabian Rights Watch Association, call the Council’s attention to the rapidly deteriorating situation in Yemen with respect to the infringement on the Yemeni people’s political, economic, human and cultural rights.

The current crisis in Yemen is essentially the result of two main factors: 1) the failure by successive governments to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people who seek a representative government that safeguards economic and social development and provides stability and security and 2) the Saudi-led military intervention that exacerbated the situation by impeding the political right of the Yemeni people to self-determination and in doing so committed serious human rights violations.

On economic rights, according to the 2016 Humanitarian Needs Overview, 21.2 million people are now in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. Whereas, nearly 2.1 million people are currently estimated to be malnourished, and over 1.3 million children are suffering from severe acute malnutrition. This dire situation has exacerbated to these levels largely due to the Saudi-led Coalition abuse of Resolution 2216 – an arms embargo on 5 people that is being used to starve the Yemeni people and shut down their economy in its entirety. Audio recordings from the Hodeida Port Authority and the ensuing airstrikes are just one example.

According to the Legal Center for Rights and Development, the Saudi-led Coalition used daily airstrikes over the last 11 months that killed over 9000 civilians and injured over 15000 others.

Airstrikes destroyed civilian infrastructure related to the Yemeni economy. 10 sea ports and 14 airports have been totally decimated making it very difficult to receive humanitarian aide.

Not even schools or hospitals nor their patients or staff were spared.

Even the cultural heritage of the Yemeni people has been targeted by the Saudi-led Coalition and al-Qaeda, including UNESCO World Heritage Sites such as Old Sanaa City, Zabid, and Shibam.

Other magnificent heritage sites targeted by airstrikes include, Old Saada City, the Maarib Dam, the Monuments of Sirwah, Baraqish, and Kawkaban.

Mr. President,

We urge the Council to open up an independent international investigation into the crimes being committed in Yemen by any party to the conflict.

Thank you.

 

جنبا الى جنب مع المركز الاوروبي للديمقراطيه وحقوق الانسان ومنظمة اروى العربية لمراقبة الحقوق،

تود لفت انتباهكم الى التدهور السريع للاوضاع في اليمن والذي يتعلق بالانتهاكات السياسيه والاقتصاديه

والانسانية والثقافية.

فالازمه الحاليه في اليمن هي في الاساس نتيجة لعاملين 1) فشل الحكومات المتعاقبه لتلبية التطلعات

المشروعه للشعب اليمني والذي يسعى لتمثيل حكومه تصون التنمية الاقتصاديه والاجتماعيه وتوفر الامن

2) التدخل العسكري السعودي الذي فاقم الوضع واعاق الحق السياسي في تقرير المصير والانتهاكات

والاستقرار.

الجسيمة لحقوق الانسان.

وفيما يتعلق بالحقوق الاقتصاديه ووفقا لنظره الاحتياجات الانسانيه لعام 2016 بان اكثر من 21 مليون

شخص في حاجه للمساعادات الانسانيه ومع ذلك يتم تطبيق حصار خانق على الشعب اليمني تحت ظل

قرار 2216 الذي يقر بحظر اسلحه على خمسة اشخاص ققط ولكن يتم استخدامه لتجويع الشعب اليمني

باكمله وخنق اقتصاده. و مثال لذلك تسجيلات صوتيه من هيئه ميناء الحديدة والغارات الجويه التي تلتها

تبين سوء استخدام القرار.

ووفقا لمركز القانوني للحقوق و التنميه فان التحالف السعودي يستخدم الغارات الجويه يوميا على مدار

11 شهرا مما اسفر عن مقتل اكثر من 9 الاف مدني وجرح اكثر من 15 الف اخرين. فقد دمرت

الضربات الجويه البنية التحتيه المتعلقه بالاقتصاد اليمني. وقد دمرت بشكل كلي 10 موانئ بحريه و14

مطار مما يجعل من الصعب جدا الحصول على مساعدات انسانيه. بل وان التحالف حتى لم يتجنب المدارس

او المستشفيات. 

فحتى التراث الثقافي  للشعب اليمني قد تم استهدافه من قبل التحالف بقيادة السعوديه والقاعده بما في ذلك

مواقع التراث العالمي لليونسكو مثل مدينة  صنعاء القديمه، زبيد، وشبام ومواقع تراثيه رائعه اخرى التي

تستهدفها الغارات الجويه وتشمل مدينه صعده القديمه، سد مأرب، واعوال صرواح، براقش وكوكبان 

السيد الرئيس

 

نحث المجلس على فتح تحقيق دولي مستقل في الجرائم التي ترتكب في اليمن من قبل اي طرف من اطراف

النزاع

وشكرا

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