HRC37 Intervention on Saudi Arabia and Its War Crimes in Yemen

On Wednesday 14 March 2018 at the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council, ADHRB’s Saudi Advocacy Associate delivered an intervention during the Item 4 debate addressing Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. In the intervention, the Associate called the Council’s attention to the actions of Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners in Yemen and the toll of the kingdom’s actions on millions of Yemeni civilians, while also calling on the Council to sanction Mohammed bin Salman and expel Saudi Arabia from the Council. Click here for a PDF of the intervention.

Mr. President,

Alsalam and ADHRB would like to raise our concerns to the Council over Saudi Arabia’s actions in Yemen, which is currently in the midst of one of the world’s worst man-made crises.

Due to Saudi Arabia’s inhuman blockade on Yemen, almost three-fourths of the population is in dire need of food, while 8 million Yemenis are at risk of famine. There has been an outbreak of cholera and suspected outbreaks of diphtheria and malaria. Saudi Arabia has conducted thousands of airstrikes, many of which have struck civilian areas, killing thousands of civilians.

Saudi Arabia’s blockade amounts to the use of famine as a weapon of war as well as collective punishment against all Yemenis. Saudi Arabia’s use of famine as a weapon is unprecedented in modern days and constitutes War Crimes. We call on states to take action against the man in charge—Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman—by recommending sanctions against him and referring him to the ICC.

More broadly, Saudi Arabia has demonstrated a complete disregard for international humanitarian law, disgracing itself as a member of this Council. Resolution 60/251 mandates that Council members “uphold the highest standards in the promotion and protection of human rights.” Saudi Arabia has failed to meet this standard. We thus call on states to take action against Saudi Arabia in the Security Council, sanction Mohammed bin Salman as a war criminal, and expel Saudi Arabia from this Council.

Thank you.