UK lawyers file case against UAE, Saudi Arabia at UN
Stoke and White law firm submits new evidence on war crimes, crimes against humanity in Yemen
A group of solicitors filed a case at the UN mechanisms regarding war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Yemen, a statement by a U.K. law firm said on Monday.
The legal team of the London-based Stoke and White law firm asked authorities to “further investigate the Sanaa Funeral Hall attack in 2016, the use of mercenaries by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), enforced disappearances, and torture in secret prisons across Yemen”.
The applications accuses the rulers and/or officials of the UAE and Saudi Arabia with “directly involving in war crimes in Yemen”, said the group in a written statement.
The evidence submitted by the lawyers includes mercenaries and “Yemeni citizens who worked with mercenary companies and/or individuals associated with the mercenaries in question”.
The firm called the Sanaa Funeral Hall attack “as a painful and harsh example of the systematic attacks by Saudi Arabia-led coalition against civilian targets”.
An air strike hit a funeral hall in the capital Sanaa on Oct. 8, 2016, killing 140, and injuring at least 525 others.
The legal team aims to call attention to the systematic torture and rape committed in "secret" prisons established by the UAE in southern Yemen and is “seeking justice for the victims in Yemen”.
The applications include victims of the bloody attack, a victim who was exposed to an “assassination program” carried out by a UAE-hired mercenary and a victim who has been exposed to many offenses in the prisons.
The law firm stressed that the legal process in three cases, including the U.K., U.S. and Turkey on behalf of its clients, proceeds and these processes are assisted by the further evidence obtained by the Stoke White.
The statement highlighted that international humanitarian law and human rights have been systematically violated in Yemen, and it accused Saudi Arabia and UAE for these violations.
Yemen has endured years of tumult since the Iran-aligned Houthi rebel movement ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government from Sanaa in late 2014, prompting military intervention in 2015 by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which sought to restore Hadi’s UN-recognized government.
The conflict has led to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, leaving more than 100,000 people dead, and some 24 million civilians, or 80% of the population, needing handouts to survive. Aid groups aim to reach 15.6 million people this year, the UN says.