HEADLINES

UK: Government Says Saudi Arabia “May Be” Committing War Crimes In Yemen

Originally Published (July 22, 2016). Belfast Telegraph. Video and photos added.

Yemeni blind men shout slogans during a demonstration gathering disabled people to protest after a center for the blind was reportedly destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in the capital Sanaa on January 6, 2016. (Photo: AFP /Getty). Yemeni blind men shout slogans during a demonstration gathering disabled people to protest after a center for the blind was reportedly destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in the capital Sanaa on January 6, 2016. (Photo: AFP /Getty).

The British government has quietly issued reams of corrections to previous ministerial statements in which they claimed that Saudi Arabia is not targeting civilians or committing war crimes. The autocratic petro-state is currently engaged in a bombing campaign in Yemen where it has blown up hospitals, schools, and weddings as part of its intervention against Houthi rebels.

Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN’s high commissioner for human rights, has said that “carnage” caused by certain Saudi coalition airstrikes against civilian targets appear to be war crimes.

Britain has been a staunch defender of the dictatorship’s assault, with UK arms companies supplying billions in weapons and ministers staking their reputation on the conduct of the Saudi Arabian armed forces.

However as MPs went back to their constituencies for recess on Thursday the Foreign Office admitted six ministerial statements from the past year “did not fully reflect” the real situation.

In many cases ministers had denied war crimes were being committed – statements the FCO now believes went too far. Instead, ministers were meant to only say that they had not actively confirmed that war crimes were being committed.

In February, then Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, said:

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond

UK Chancellor, Philip Hammond.

we have assessed that there has not been a breach of international humanitarian law by the coalition”, the Foreign Office noted.

It added: However, these should have stated … ‘we have not assessed that there has been a breach of IHL by the coalition’.

On another occasion, the FCO noted, Mr Hammond, who is now the Chancellor, had said:

“‘The MOD assessment is that the Saudi-led coalition is not targeting civilians; that Saudi processes and procedures have been put in place to ensure respect for the principles of international humanitarian law; and that the Saudis both have been and continue to be genuinely committed to compliance with international humanitarian law.

The correction continued:

This should have said, ‘…The MOD has not assessed that the Saudi-led coalition is targeting civilians. We have assessed that Saudi processes and procedures have been put in place to ensure respect for the principles of international humanitarian law; and that the Saudis both have been and continue to be genuinely committed to compliance with international humanitarian law.

The UK has repeatedly refused calls from the European Parliament and House of Commons international development committee to stop selling weapons to the autocratic monarchy.

Oliver Sprague, Amnesty UK’s Arms Programme Director, said:

Oliver Sprague is Programme Director of Arms Control and Policing at Amnesty International UK.

Oliver Sprague, Programme Director of Arms Control and Policing at Amnesty International UK.

This is jaw-dropping stuff. The government has admitted grossly misleading parliament no fewer than six times on issues as serious as the deaths of civilians in Yemen.

The government has spent most of this year telling us that assessments had been conducted and it was confident that no breach of international law had occurred – when it’s now apparent no specific assessment of Saudi operations had been done whatsoever.

“It appears that what the UK government is admitting is to only having reviewed general Saudi procedures rather than investigating the many actual reports of unlawful attacks.

“It’s staggering that such a shameful admission is made at the eleventh hour on the last day of parliament. It’s not even doublespeak, it’s just plain wrong.

A spokesperson for Campaign Against Arms Trade, which has led calls for a boycott, said:

This is a stunning piece of back-peddling, and the timing feels very cynical.

The corrections reveal that Philip Hammond’s original statements were either totally wrong or outright distortions.

UK arms have been central to the devastation inflicted on Yemen and it’s time for the government to come clean about its role.

Official figures reported by The Independent in January this year show sales of British bombs and missiles to the country increased 100 times in the three-month period since the start of the attacks on Yemen.

The sales jumped from £9m ($14,650,822.07 USD) in the previous three months to £1bn (1,567,451,085.57 USD).

Mr Cameron, who stepped down as PM this week following the election of Theresa May to leader of the Conservative party, said in January that Britain’s relationship with Saudi Arabia is “important for our own security”.

Last week The Independent reported that the UK government had refused to rule out re-electing Saudi Arabia to a key UN human rights council.

🔝

Saudi Arabia Human Right’s Violation article’s in Belfast Telegraph:

Belfast Telegraph: Government admits it was wrong to say Saudi Arabia is not targeting civilians or committing war crimes.


We welcome comments and conversation. Scroll down page to use the comment box.

Click Picture for a Popular Article

  • Two homeless brothers try to survive on the streets of India.
  • The month is also a time of community; it is the custom for Muslims to invite their neighbours and friends to share their evening meal – iftar – and recite special Tarawih prayers in congregation. It is also a time when Muslims try to reconnect with the Qur’an, which they believe is the word of God. However, Children, people who are sick or who have mental illness, elderly people for example do not have to fast.
  • Iraqi firefighters and civilians carry bodies of victims killed in a car bomb at a commercial area in Karrada neighbourhood, Baghdad, Iraq, Sunday, July 3, 2016
  • trump and kim Korea Summit ft
  • afghan_clinic_bombed
  • Yemen is the poorest country in the Arabian peninsula, with more than 40 percent of people living below the poverty line Reuters
  • Fatik Abdullah al-Rodaini, a Yemeni Journalist and humanitarian worker
  • Souhayla, a 16-year-old girl who escaped the Islamic State after three years of captivity, at her uncle’s home in Shariya Camp, Iraq. Credit Alex Potter for The New York Times
  • Donald Trump Jumps The Shark
  • Yesterday I re-blogged two article's suggesting that Donald Trump announced his candidacy as a ruse to help Hillary Clinton secure the title of President of The United States. When a friend first emailed me a link to the article by J.K. Trotter published in the Gawker, I brushed it off as too far-fetched, However, I recently changed my mind, and I will explain why I doubt Donald Trump's campaign started as a legit quest for the presidency.
  • The Canadian Delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, San Francisco, May 1945. (Photo: Public Domain). (Alistair Reign News Blog www.AlistairReignBlog.com).
  • Geopolitics: Today's Yemen In One Map. Yemeni Civil War: The Territorial Control as of March 1st, 2016. In March, the Yemen’s embattled president Hadi fled Yemen by sea and arrives in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, as Saudi Arabia and its allies launch military operations in Yemen to defend Hadi’s government.

Click Picture for a Popular Cartoon

  • Sesame Street - Grouch Apprentice with Donald Grump
  • Trump Trudeau State Dinner.
  • What Donald Would Do!
  • Paul Ryan Retires
  • Donald Trump and a Cheshire cat have the same smug smile.
  • Who is PM Stephen Harper
  • Donald Trump kissing his daughter
  • Britney Spears Looking Hot in black leather in Toxic music video. who was sexiest? Britney in Toxic or Taylor Swift in Bad Blood
  • In episode two he addresses the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and the humanitarian catastrophe in the impoverished Republic of Yemen. Minhaj warns America to reconsider their attitude toward Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Start a Conversation or Write a Caption This joke.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.