UN panel of experts accuses Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt of preventing them from reaching Yemen

UN panel of experts accuses Saudi Arabia, UAE and Egypt of preventing them from reaching Yemen

Saudi Arabia, the UNITED Arab Emirates and Egypt, have  been accused by head of the UN panel of experts on Yemen of preventing the arrival of its members in Yemen, after it published its first human rights report in August last year.

The committee also accused the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen since March 2015 of not being serious about its investigations into human rights violations.

The committee's second report on the human rights situation and violations in Yemen was presented at the 42nd session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on Tuesday.

At the time of publication, there had been no immediate comment from the countries against which accused as per al-Jandoubi.

Jandoubi said he had provided the High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michel Bachelet, with a list of people who had committed "war crimes" in Yemen, particularly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “Confidentially” , until the international community established a "accountability mechanism" for war crimes in Yemen.

The chairman of the committee of experts added that the Houthis allowed members of the committee to enter the areas under their control, after the report was published in August, but Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt "prevented the members of the committee from reaching Yemen as well as meeting some Yemenis in Egypt."

In his report, Jandoubi also accused the coalition countries in Yemen of making a negative impact on the victims and eyewitnesses who planned to cooperate with the commission during the investigation, by creating an atmosphere of fear.

He noted that the coalition and the government did not answer the detailed questions of the members of the committee, and said that the committee was also prevented from knowing the coalition's view of the events in Yemen and the steps supposed to be taken to hold accountable for the violations, but confirmed meetings with 600 eyewitnesses, displaced persons and victims and families of the victims and Yemenis residing in other countries and other sources.

Jandoubi also confirmed continued arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance and ill-treatment at facilities controlled by the Yemeni government, the UAE and the Houthis.

The committee chairman said that the coalition's investigations in Yemen lacked seriousness because they concluded that he had been acquitted, calling for additional investigations to be conducted as several parties hindered the work of the commission in charge of investigations, he said.

The authors of the report considered that the hostilities in Yemen amounted to serious violations of international humanitarian law and continued to have a serious impact on civilians.

For her part, The High Commissioner for Human Rights (Bachelet) thanked the UN delegation in Yemen for its report during her speech to participants at the 42nd session of the Human Rights Council, noting that the Yemeni people are suffering from a "terrible humanitarian crisis".

It stressed that the people "suffer all kinds of misery and pain, including war, disease, famine, economic collapse, international terrorism, widespread human rights violations and war crimes."

The Yemeni government and the Arab coalition have announced their reservations about the contents of the Report of the Committee of Experts on Human Rights in Yemen, and the coalition has vowed to refute the commission's allegations and the report's detailed contents.


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