The UK’s International Ambassador for Human Rights, Rita French, delivered this statement during the Interactive Dialogue with the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen Published 25 February 2021From:Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and Rita FrenchDelivered on:25 February 2021 (Transcript of the speech, exactly as it was delivered)
We thank the High Commissioner for her statement.
We are concerned by the findings of the Group of Eminent Experts. It is particularly troubling that all parties to the conflict were found by the GEE to be responsible for human rights and international humanitarian law violations, some of which may amount to war crimes.
Arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, gender-based violence and the recruitment of young children into armed forces has persisted. We remain concerned by the persecution of religious minorities in Houthi areas, particularly the Baha’i, alongside the indiscriminate Houthi targeting of Saudi cities with ballistic missiles and drones.
The Houthis have also been found to be interfering with the delivery of humanitarian aid which, alongside broader impediments to humanitarian operations, represents a denial of the Yemeni people’s basic human rights.
We will continue to work with all parties to find a political solution to the conflict. A political solution is key to creating conditions necessary for the legitimate Government to improve its capacity to protect human rights.
What action does the GEE think can be taken to tackle Houthi impediments to the delivery of humanitarian aid?