For Immediate Release

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 Robyn Shepherd, media@aiusa.org

USA, UK and France Risk Complicity in Collective Punishment of Civilians in Yemen

WASHINGTON - The USA, UK and France must immediately cease supplying arms to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen, which is impeding humanitarian assistance of items indispensable to the survival of civilians, said Amnesty International today. According to the UN and humanitarian agencies food and medicine are being blocked and vital supplies will run out in a matter of weeks. 

Since the Saudi Arabia-led coalition tightened the blockade after a missile was fired at Riyadh, 29 ships carrying essential supplies have been prevented by the coalition from reaching Hodeidah port. Mitigating measures announced by the coalition, such as opening Aden’s port, are woefully inadequate to meet humanitarian needs. More than 20 million people are now living in dire need of assistance.

“The looming prospect of famine is becoming a reality because of the new restrictions by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which appear to amount to collective punishment of Yemen’s civilians,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“Countries such as the USA, UK and France, which continue to supply coalition members with arms, are allowing Saudi Arabia and its allies to flagrantly flout international law and risk being complicit in grave violations, including war crimes.

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“All countries must immediately halt the flow of arms and military assistance to members of the Saudi-led collation for use in Yemen. This includes any equipment or logistical support being used to maintain this blockade.”

Background

As of November 15, the blockade has prevented nearly 500,000 metric tons of food and fuel on 29 vessels from reaching Hodeidah port, according to the UN. 

Since 2015, all parties to the conflict in Yemen have committed serious violations of international humanitarian law and grave human rights abuses. The lives of civilians have been devastated by indiscriminate bombing and shelling, arbitrary detentions and enforced disappearances.

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Amnesty International is a global movement of millions of people demanding human rights for all people – no matter who they are or where they are. We are the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization.

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