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Saudi accused of rights abuses in Yemen civilian deaths

14 Jan, 2018 11:57:00

A UN report on human rights abuses related to foreign intervention in Yemen details the extensive civilian casualties inflicted by the Saudi-led coalition's air attacks. 

The United Nations panel examined 10 air attacks in 2017 that killed 157 people, and found that the targets included a migrant boat, a night market, five residential buildings, a motel, a vehicle and government forces, according to a copy of the report shown to.

"This is a report to the UN Security Council that has not been made public, but I've been allowed to read a copy. It's very hard hitting and very critical of all of the parties in the war in Yemen," Al Jazeera diplomatic editor James Bays said.

The panel said it requested information from the Saudi-led coalition for the rationale behind such attacks, but did not receive a response. The attacks were carried out by precision-guided munitions, so it is likely these were the intended targets, the report points out.

"Even if in some cases, the Saudi-led coalition had targeted legitimate military objectives, the panel finds it highly unlikely that the IHL [International Humanitarian Law] principles of proportionality, and precautions in attack were met," the report stated.

The report also cited a "widespread and systematic" pattern of "arbitrary arrests, deprivation of liberty and enforced disappearances". It was particularly scathing about UAE camps, where it says torture has been taking place.

"The report talks about beatings, electrocutions, constrained suspension, and it talks about something called the cage which is confinement in a cage in the sunlight and the denial of medical treatment," James Bays said.

"Working with the gov of Yemen gives the UAE plausible deniability," he added.

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