HRW condemns the Saudi Prince

HRW condemns the Saudi Prince
Human Rights Watch has condemned the actions of the Saudi Prince and has called on the United Sanctions to impose sanctions on him over the alleged abuses carried out in Yemen by Saudi Arabia..

Human Rights Watch has condemned the actions of the Saudi Prince and has called on the United Sanctions to impose sanctions on him over the alleged abuses carried out in Yemen by Saudi Arabia.

Background

Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries in the world, has been devastated by the war between forces loyal to the internationally recognized government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi and those allied to the Houthi rebel movement. The Yemen Civil war began in 2011 with the Arab Spring protests that led to the fall of the then President Ali Abdallah Saleh on charges of corruption and economic grievances. Hadi, his deputy minister at that time, took over the region. However, the increasing political instability in Yemen paved the way for the Houthi, representing the Shiite minority to take over the territory.

A military intervention was launched by Saudi Arabia in 2015, to influence the Civil War in Yemen. A two-year Saudi-led campaign has damaged infrastructure and caused shortage of medicine in one of the most poorest Arab country. Reports have also emerged that there are players within Yemen who actively sponsor terrorism by funding activities conducted by ISIS.

In 2017, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has introduced a number of new reforms aimed at easing regulations placed against women. This has been largely attributed to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He was appointed Crown Princein June 2017 following his father's decision to remove Muhammad bin Nayef from all positions, making Mohammad bin Salman heir apparent to the throne. Despite promised reforms, the arrests and persecutions rate of human rights activists have risen under Mohammad bin Salman. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch continue to criticize the Saudi government for its violations of human rights.

Analysis

In November 2017, Saudi Arabia reported that the region’s military had intercepted a Yemen-borne ballistic missile over Riyadh. Saudi Arabia has stated that Iran has armed the rebels in Yemen – a charge denied by Iran. After the missile was intercepted, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said providing rockets to the rebels "may be considered an act of war". A Saudi-led coalition closed land, air and sea borders cutting off vital aid to the region.

Now, the Human Rights Watch has condemned the actions of the Saudi Prince and has called on the United Sanctions to impose sanctions on him over the alleged abuses carried out in Yemen by Saudi Arabia.

In an op-ed in Washington Post, Akshaya Kumar, HRW’s Deputy Director for the UN wrote, “The war in Yemen, and Prince Bin Salman's prominent role in it as defence minister, fits poorly into a narrative of a visionary young reform-oriented leader. As restrictions on imports push millions of Yemenis further into famine and aid the spread of normally treatable diseases, Prince [Mohammed bin Salman] shouldn't be getting a free pass.”

She added, that, “Instead, he and other senior coalition leaders should face international sanctions." According to the UN, the current blockade could result in famine as aid organizations have struggled to deliver vital supplies to the region. Yemen is also grappling with one of the worst cholera outbreaks in recorded history.

Assessment

Our assessment is that the Yemeni crisis continues to escalate and the lives of millions are at stake as a result. The blockade cut off vital medical and food supplies from reaching the region. The civil war has brought the country dangerously close to becoming a failed state. All players in the region should work towards a diplomatic solution.  

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