• Press Release

Senate Resolution Is Welcome First Step, But More is Needed

December 13, 2018

Yellow and white graphic with the Amnesty international logo on the bottom left and the word
Responding to the passage in the United States Senate today of a Joint Resolution Supporting a Diplomatic Solution in Yemen and Condemning the Murder of Jamal Khashoggi, Philippe Nassif, Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International USA stated:

“Today’s vote is a step in the right direction, but a timely, credible, and transparent UN investigation into the killing of Jamal Khashoggi is the most comprehensive way for his family, and the world, to receive the full truth about what happened to him, and those responsible, however high their rank or status, to be held to account.”

In addition to calls for a UN investigation, Amnesty International is calling for the Saudi Arabian government to be held to account for its relentless repression of human rights in the country, urging it to make genuine human rights reforms, including removing the establishment of the male guardianship system and  the immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience, including human rights defenders like Raif Badawi, currently serving a ten year sentence for setting up a website focused on social and political debate.

In Yemen, Amnesty International strengthens its calls for the US and the international community to support UN efforts to end gross violations by all parties to the conflict and ensure justice and reparation for victims.

“The US can no longer be a party to the human misery and suffering in Yemen. It is vital the U.S. government halts the flow of arms in the conflict and do everything in its power to prevent further violations, making  clear that those responsible for war crimes will be held to account” said Philippe Nassif.

The conflict has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis and has placed many millions of already food-insecure people at imminent risk of famine. Prompt and unhindered access is crucial to UN agencies and humanitarian organizations to deliver food, fuel, medicines, and medical supplies to civilians in desperate need across Yemen.

Background and context:

In its July 2018 report Reform without human rights, Amnesty International documented a catalog of human rights violations taking place in Saudi Arabia. These included the systematic repression of freedom of expression, a crackdown on human rights defenders, a surge in executions, discrimination against women and the Shi’a minority and the kingdom’s role in serious violations against civilians in the devastating armed conflict in Yemen.

In Yemen, Saudi Arabia-led coalition and allied forces, Huthi, and Yemeni government aligned forces, have consistently carried out unlawful attacks, restricted access to humanitarian aid, carried out widespread arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, child recruitment, and other serious violations that have and continue to inflict unimaginable suffering on Yemen’s civilian population.