The International Alliance for the Defence of Rights and Freedoms (AIDL), a rights group based in France, filed a lawsuit against Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan during his visit to France Wednesday, accusing him of war crimes, complicity in torture, and inhumane treatment in Yemen.
According to AIDL, Prince bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who is also Deputy Supreme Commander of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Armed Forces and a close ally of Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is responsible for attacks that targeted Yemeni civilians.
"It's in this capacity that he has ordered bombings on Yemeni territory," the complaint filed on behalf of the AIDL argued.
The complaint, filed in a Paris court, comes as pressure grows on French President Emmanuel Macron to curb arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which lead an international coalition waging war against the Houthi rebels who control most of northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa.
A number of Yemenis have joined the legal action, AIDL lawyer Joseph Breham said.
French prosecutors are already studying a similar complaint filed in April against the Saudi crown prince.
The complaint against Abu Dhabi's crown prince, who is due to have lunch with Macron Wednesday, cites a report by United Nations experts that said coalition attacks may have constituted war crimes and that torture was carried out in two centers controlled by UAE forces.
According to a recent study, over 55,000 people have been killed in the Yemen war as a result of strikes and bombing. The estimate excludes the victims of the man-made famine caused by Saudi Arabia’s inhumane blockade of Yemen's ports. Furthermore, over three million (i.e. over 10 percent of the population) have been forced out of their homes.
Save the Children, a human rights organization, said Wednesday that according to a conservative estimate based on U.N. data, approximately 84,700 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition may have died between April 2015 and October 2018 in the war-torn country.
“We are horrified that some 85,000 children in Yemen may have died because of the consequences of extreme hunger since the war began. For every child killed by bombs and bullets, dozens are dying from hunger and disease and it’s entirely preventable,” the organization said in a statement.
Western countries are pressing for a ceasefire and renewed peace efforts to end the conflict. U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths arrived in Sanaa Wednesday to meet with Houthi leaders to discuss convening peace talks in Sweden next month to agree on a framework for peace under a transitional government.