The Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights (GIDHR) launched their report documenting a brutal massacre that was carried out in Al-Raqas neighbourhood in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa.
The Saudi and Emirati led coalition carried out the massacre in May 2019 targeting the President of Yemeni Media Union, Abdullah Sabri, leaving 77 victims of civilians who reside in the neighbourhood, including Sabri and his family.
The report was launched, on 8 February 2021, in a virtual press conference with the participation of a group of international and Yemeni human rights organisations and journalists.
Abdullah Sabri, the former head of the Yemeni Media Union and victim of the massacre of the Saudi-led coalition on al-Raqas neighbourhood stated: “We’ve wrote and talked extensively about the brutality and the criminality of the Saudi-American aggression against Yemen; its infrastructure land and people. Nonetheless, one who have followed it up is never like those who have witnessed and experienced the hostality of the coalition that has took Yemenis’ blood and sanctities into its own hands. This could never have happened but after the Saudi regime assured its immunity and as long as the US is the official sponsor of its war against Yemen.
Dr Sue Wareham, President of the Medical Association for Prevention of War, said “Our organisation is appalled at the large-scale death and suffering inflicted on the people of Yemen, including the terror for children and others of aerial bombardment. In addition, we strongly condemn attacks on journalists, which are prohibited in times of war. There must be full and impartial investigation and accountability for all the alleged war crimes committed in this war.
For his part, Pierre Abi Saab, prominent Lebanese journalist and editor in chief of Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar newspaper, added: “The second crime, parallel to direct aggression, is the moral crime, which has been committed against international, Arab and Yemeni public audiences. [Targeting] the Yemeni media has barred them from finding out the truth, which is the most significant because these are the massacre’s witnesses and victims. These are the inhabitants of the land, its sons, and the people who have faced this massacre, and can thus provide us with the credible testimony of what happened. These would report to the world this “sublime” manifestation of violence, barbarism and bloodshed. These; however, have been denied access to any sort of communication.”
Philippa Lysaght, humanitarian policy and advocacy for Save the Children, Australia: “Children in Yemen have been enduring a terrifying routine of relentless fighting and violations of their basic rights for years.”
“This has taken an enormous toll on children in Yemen. More desperately needs to be done to stop this war on children in Yemen and hold those responsible to account,” she continued
Rajaa Abdullah Ahmad Al-Musabi, head of the Arab Foundation for Human Rights, Goodwill Ambassador for International Peace and an international expert on people with disabilities’ rights, said: “The war against Yemen is one of the worst events that the country has ever witnessed. It caused an entire devastation of health and education facilities. 45% of the health institutions have, wholly or partially, collapsed. 62% of schools, technical institutions and schools have been demolished. Further, more than 8 M people have been displaced and more than 18 million now live below the overall poverty line. These have undoubtedly affected people with disabilities as all sources of aids for Yemen’s Welfare and Rehabilitation Fund were cut, which led 86% of their health and educational services to suspend. The war also led to an increase in the number of injured due to the coalition’s bombardments and mines. Thereby, we firmly demand an end to arms sales to the Arab coalition countries”.
Yahya Al-Hadid, head of Gulf Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, stressed, “The coalition steps up in committing crimes against humanity in Yemen relying on the international support. This support has immuned it from accountability and international prosecution. The massacre agsinst the Raqas neighbourhood, which is documented in the report that we are launching today, is not a separate incident. Rather, it was part of a systematic policy adopted by the Saudi and UAE-led coalition that deems civilians its primary target. Therefore, we will never go silent upon war crimes that have been committed in Yemen and we will continue to demand that the international community prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes and bring them to justice.”