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450 Yemeni Civilians Killed in December: Report

  • A man inspects damage at the site of airstrikes in the city of Saada.

    A man inspects damage at the site of airstrikes in the city of Saada. | Photo: Reuters

Published 17 January 2018

The report published on Wednesday attributed 279 killings to Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes, and 121 to Houthis militia.

A Geneva-based NGO, SAM, announced Wednesday that it had registered the killings of 450 civilians during December 2017. According to its monitors on the ground, 279 were killed by Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes, and 121 by the Houthi rebels militia.

UN Slams Saudi Arabia for Human Rights Atrocities in Yemen

SAM Organization for Rights and Liberties has been issuing monthly reports on human rights violations perpetrated by both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis militia in Yemen. In its December report researchers documented 1,937 violations, which include physical assaults, violation to press freedom, arbitrary detention, unlawful confiscation, displacement, and torture.

The report also highlights violations of the rights of children, with "child recruitment topping the list of violations." The organization claims it has received information of disappearances from schools, and documented instructions from Houthis leaders for “enforced recruitment.” At least 84 children were killed and 74 more were injured in December.

SAM reported that thousands of Yemeni civilians are under arbitrary detention at Houthis militia’s prisons, documenting 155 cases of arbitrary detention in December alone.

There was no information on the number of arbitrary detentions carried out by Saudi-led coalition forces. According to a detailed investigation published in June by the Associated Press, the United Arab Emirates (member of the coalition) has established 18 secret prisons in Yemen liberated provinces, notably Aden and Mukalla, where torture has been reported.

The report also documented ramping up of blockade efforts over almost all Yemeni ports by Saudi Arabia and the UAE further restricting the flow of food and medical supplies, affecting the country’s mostly poor 27.5-million population.

In Mach 2015, a Saudi-led coalition began a series of airstrikes against the Houthis militia to reinstate President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government after the Houthis took over most of the country including the capital Sanaa. The coalition, accused of crimes against humanity by the United Nations and Amnesty International, includes forces from nine other countries, including Jordan and Egypt, and receives support from the United States and the United Kingdom.

To date, more than 10,000 people have died in the war in Yemen, according to the UN. The cholera outbreak, enabled by the Saudi-led coalition blockade on Yemen, alone has claimed over 2,000 lives.

SAM's report urges humanitarian organizations to "provide immediate aid to the displaced civilians," and the "Arab coalition to avoid targeting civilians."  

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