Civilians & Rights Activists Under Fire

Written by Fakhri Al-Arashi

Geneva, At the United Nations Human Rights Council this week, human rights groups highlighted the burgeoning threats to civilians and human rights defenders in Yemen as the conflict rages on.

During the 30th session of the UNHRC, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International (AI), the Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR), the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) organised a Side Event focused on Yemen and entitled: Civilians & Rights Activists Under Fire – Addressing impunity that fuels the humanitarian crisis.The meeting was moderated by Philippe Dam, Deputy Director at Human Rights Watch. The panel of speakers included Belkis Willie, Yemen Researcher, and Josh Lyons, Emergencies Satellite Imagery Analyst, both from at Human Rights Watch, Donatella Rovera, AI’s Senior Crisis Response Advisor, and Khalid Ibrahim, Co-Director of GCHR.

The side event venue was full, and attended by numerous representatives of UN member states, various UN mechanisms, NGOs and others.

Using satellite images, speakers from Human Rights Watch and AI talked about how civilians are being targeted in the ongoing war in Yemen. Ibrahim talked about the imminent risk that is facing human rights defenders in the country and the fact that they are under attack during the war from all sides in the conflict.

It was agreed by speakers that all sides are committing violations and abuses with impunity. Ibrahim renewed GCHR’s call for an immediate, impartial and thorough investigation into the murder of journalist Abdulkarim Al-Khaiwani and all other crimes committed against human rights in Yemen with a view to bringing those responsible to justice in line with local laws and international standards.