Yemen: The Houthis commit war crimes by targeting medical facilities and staff 


Geneva – Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties strongly condemns the targeting medical facilities, transportation and health personnel in Yemen by the Ansar Allah group, known as the Houthis.

Geneva Council received testimonies that last Friday the Houthi armed group hit Al-Jafra Hospital and the Saudi Hospital in the Directorate of the Majzar 100 km north of Marib Governorate with the missile and artillery shelling which resulted in severe damage to the emergency and a number of hospital sections.

This targeting came as a link in a long series of similar violations committed by the Houthi group during the past years, namely, the bombing of 12 medical facilities and health facilities, including 3 hospitals that were totally destroyed, and the repeated bombing operations that resulted in the killing of 7 doctors and health workers and the injury of 7 others from the health personnel working in Ma’rib Governorate .

Targeting medical personnel is a violation of international humanitarian law, and those responsible must be held accountable. When medical workers are killed, the human cost is not only their lives, but also the sheer number of people who will suffer without treatment and the many lives that will be lost as a result.

Geneva Council affirms that any targeting of medical facilities constitutes a flagrant challenge to international humanitarian law and international treaties prohibiting the targeting of civilians and medical facilities, in addition to UN Security Council Resolution 2286/2016 which states that attacks are deliberately directed against hospitals and the places where the sick, wounded, medical transportation and personnel constitue war crimes under the international law.

We stress that targeting civilians and civilian objects in Yemen may amount to a war crime in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention for the Protection of Civilians, as Article 147 of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 states that targeting and destroying civilian objects is prohibited and that the protection of civilian objects is an indispensable necessity for the survival of the civilian population.

Article 25 of the Hague Regulations Concerning the Laws and Customs of War on War of 1907 states, “It is prohibited to attack or bombard unprotected cities, villages, residences and buildings, whatever the method used.”

Geneva Council for Rights and Liberties calls for effective intervention by the United Nations and the parties of the international community to stop human rights violations in Yemen, foremost of which is to provide protection for civilians and their installations and to prosecute those responsible.

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