YEMEN: Dozens of NGOs call upon the EU to impose sanctions on Houthis

Yemen map

For more than seven years, the horrific crimes committed by the Houthi group have been escalating as war crimes against the Yemeni people, in front of the international community and human rights and humanitarian organizations.

Over the past years, the crimes and violations of the Houthi group against Yemenis, since its coup against the state in September 2014, have varied between killing, torture, kidnapping, arbitrary arrest, enforced disappearance, killing under torture, recruiting children, besieging cities, bombing houses, killing journalists, and planting more than one million land and sea mines, which are The largest mine laying operation since the end of the second World War.

The Houthi group pursued a policy of impoverishment, starvation, stealing employee salaries, stealing humanitarian aid and selling it on the black market. It did not stop there, but rather prevented humanitarian aid from reaching its beneficiaries, which was documented by international organizations in reports that conveyed limited images of the horror of what the Yemeni people are exposed to in the Houthis controlled areas.

In order to perpetuate the crime, the Houthi group has turned Sanaa International Airport into a military barracks to bombard civilian facilities and receive Iranian weapons in violation of Resolution 2216 and make the ports as the port of Hodeidah is a starting point for boats and war mines to threaten international navigation, contrary to what was agreed upon in Stockholm, which enabled the Houthi group to commit more crimes and violations of humanity.

The violations reached a terrifying level of brutality by bombing cities, populated neighborhoods and camps for displaced people fleeing the inferno of the Houthi group, killing children and women, and the non-stop sniping, and it is unfortunate that the Houthi group saw the indulgence of the international community as a green light to continue its sabotage acts, which are classified as war crimes and crimes against humanity.

In this regard, the undersigned civil society organizations call on the European Parliament to impose sanctions on the Houthi group and to ensure that its leaders do not go unpunished from the perpetrators of crimes and those behind them, in implementation of the international humanitarian law that prohibits attacks on civilians, and prohibits indiscriminate or systematic attacks that would affect Civilian persons or civilian objects without discrimination.

The crimes and violations of the Houthi group continue to escalate with every military escalation, regardless of humanitarian and human rights calls for peace, as it continues before the world to target the innocent, bombard and besiege residential areas, displacement communities and service facilities of daily importance to the population and the displaced, deliberately expanding the gap of human suffering and threatening the security and safety of civilians and the displaced. Including women, children and the elderly, and the Houthi group continues to plant mines and take the displaced as human shields. They have previously used the kidnappers as human shields, and in addition to that, the Houthi group has taken all ways to remove the protection of women, so grave violations have been committed against them, reaching the point of killing and physical assault and sexual violence, and the number of detainees reached more than 1,800 women, including civil society activists.

While international law criminalizes the recruitment and involvement of children in armed conflict, the Houthi group has forcibly recruited more than 30,000 children in Yemen since 2014, and used schools and educational facilities as training camps for minors, as well as using an education system that incites violence derived from their ideology based on violence and extremist ideas.  It issued excessive death sentences, and executed last September against 9 civilians, including a minor, and there are still women and minors sentenced to death.

The civil society organizations that sign this statement condemn all these grave violations and escalating crimes, and express their regret for the failure of the international community, they call on the European Parliament to move quickly in imposing mechanisms to hold the Houthi group accountable and classify it as a terrorist group.

It also calls for the creation of a clear and strict mechanism to hold the Houthi group accountable for these crimes, which leads to achieving justice and fairness to the victims and not impunity of criminals, especially since the previous mechanism, the Group of Eminent International and Regional Experts - which had been approved by the Human Rights Council in Resolution No. 36/31) 2017), that its mandate expired with the Council Member’s majority vote not to extend its mandate on the fifth of last October - it had failed during four years to seek redress for the victims, and they were unable to reach the victims inside Yemen, and they relied on their sources from remotely and from organizations known for their lack of impartiality. We hope today that the human conscience will respond to these demands and stand by the Yemeni people in stopping the inferno of Houthi crimes.

Signed by:

11 February Organization for the Defense of Rights and Freedoms
8th March Yemeni Union Women
Abna Al Mesamar Forum for Social Development
Adalah Organization for Development and Human Rights
Al Ahq Organization for Rights and Development
Al Dhale Foundation for Media, Monitoring and Human Rights
Al Dhale'e Center for Justice and Equity
Al-Jawf Organization for Rights and Freedoms
Aoun Organization for Human Rights
Arab Initiative for Education and Development
Basmat Amal Foundation for Civil Orientation
Basmat Amal Organization for Development and Human Rights/ Lahj
CAP Freedom of Conscience
Civil Network for Development, Media and Human Rights Protection
Coordinating Council for Civil Society Organizations and Human Rights
Democracy and support for human rights
European Federation for Freedom of Belief
Eye Organization for Human Rights / Al-Bayda
Freedom and Equity Organization for Justice and Development
Freedom Center for the Defense of Media Freedoms
Freedom Foundation for Human Rights and Development
Gulf of Aden Foundation for Human Development and Social Services
Hajour Organization for Human Rights
Humanitarian Center for Human Rights
Irada Organization Against Torture and Enforced Disappearance
Justice and Equity Organization
Karama Organization for Rights and Freedoms
Karama Organization for Rights and Political Empowerment
Life  Organization for Human Rights
Mada Organization for Rights and Freedoms
Monitor for Human Rights (Hadramaut)
Monitoring Organization for Human Rights (Al Mahwit)
Monitoring Organization for Rights and Development - Sana'a
Musawah Organization for Development and Human Rights
My Freedom Organization / Hodeidah
National Center for Development and Liberties
National Development Corporation
National Foundation for Development and Human Rights / Hajjah
National Human Rights Organization
Nidal Organization for Human Rights
Peace and Humanitarian Initiative
Peace Foundation for Humanitarian Relief
Peace Organization / Imran
Peace Organization for Rights and Freedoms
Public Organization for the Defense of Liberties
Right Foundation for Human Rights
Rights Organization for Rights, Freedoms and Development
Shahid Organization for Rights and Development (Sana'a)
Shahid Organization for Rights and Freedoms (Ma'rib)
social peace organization
Sons of Taiz Forum for Rights and Development
Student Rights Organization
Ta'ayesh Foundation for Rights and Development
The Public Cohesion for Peace and Human Rights
The Washington Outsider
The Yemeni platform for studies and media
Third Alternative Foundation for Community Development
True Human Rights institution
Witnesses Organization for Human Rights / Imran
Women and Child Association in Al-Jouf
Yemeni Alliance for Transparency
Yemeni Coalition of Independent Women
Yemeni Dutch Center for Rights and Freedoms
Yemeni Network for Rights and Freedoms
Yemeni Organization of Prisoners and Detainee
The European Association for The Defense of Minorities
Progetto Donna 2021 ,supporting women and children
World Council for public diplomacy and community Dialogue