Al Houthis’ use of landmines and its recruitment of child soldiers among the many crimes committed by the militants
Dubai: Documentaries revealing Al Houthi war crimes in Yemen were screened for the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Tuesday during a seminar sponsored by the Arab Federation for Human Rights.
The films detailed the disastrous impact of land mines used by Iran-backed Al Houthis as well as their practice of recruiting child soldiers.
Four experts on the situation in Yemen presented their inputs to the council and all called on the international community to act against Al Houthi and Saleh abuses in Yemen.
Panelist Saddam Abu Asem, a Yemeni journalist and activist, said most of the victims of landmines were women and children.
He went further to say the militants were intentionally placing the landmines in civilian areas across the country.
He commended the brave work of engineers working to demine large swaths of Yemeni territory and said Al Houthis should be forced to dismantle their own landmines given the danger associated with the task.
Nabeel Al Assadi, a Yemeni journalist and Head of the Freedom and Rights Committee at the Yemeni Journalist Synidcate, explained to the council the dangerous effects of recruiting child soldiers in Yemen.
“It not only threatens their lives and childhood but destroys future generations,” he said.
He said Al Houthis, Al Qaida and Hezbollah were guilty of recruiting children to fight in Yemen.
Hadi Al Yami, Chairman of the Arab Human Rights Committee of the Arab League, submitted to the council a report on a recent visit of the working group of the Arab Human Rights Committee to the city of Aden, Yemen.
The report detailed human rights conditions and documented flagrant violations of the provisions of the Arab Charter on Human Rights, international human rights law, and international humanitarian law.
It also detailed the number of civilian deaths and injuries and the displacement of thousands due to indiscriminate Al Houthi attacks aided by forces loyal to ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
“Al Houthis are not only targeting schools and hospitals, but also infrastructure,” he said.
During a speech at the Swiss Journalist Club celebrating its one year anniversary, Ahmad Al Hamli, president of the Arab Federation for Human Rights, said he wanted the Federation to be the known as “most credible source in the Arab world regarding human rights issues.”
The Arab Federation, established last year, brought together over 88 human rights NGOs to help boost human rights in the Middle East and facilitate cooperation between governments and civil society.
Since then, the Arab Federation has regularly participated in UN Human Rights Council sessions and hosted events, seminars and exhibitions related to human rights in the Middle East.
The Arab League has named the Arab Federation as the first civic institution to officially deal with the Arab regional institutions for the purpose of promoting and protecting human rights across the region.
Offices have been set up in Geneva, Egypt, Bahrain and Morocco.