The world needs to know about Yemen’s war. But journalists are being silenced

Article for theguardian by Charlene Rodrigues:

One Friday in Old Sana’a, while filming the aftermath of the Saudi-led coalition bombings, I found myself surrounded by a group of militia who were trying to take hold of my camera. I was detained for a few hours in the ruins, confused and unnerved. The interrogation I received from the Houthis was relentless. But the problems didn’t stop here. For a week, I was harassed with regular phone calls and visits from National Security officials at my hotel. All this despite having a press visa issued in London.

Incidents such as these are increasingly common since the rebel Houthi militia took over Sana’a in late September last year. Local journalists have either fled to their villages or left the country. Some have been threatened and assaulted, while others’ homes have been ransacked, their families living in constant fear. There are only a handful of foreign journalists in the country and they keep a low profile.

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In Taiz

LRB blog article by Michelle Ghabrial:

Twelve-year-old Aqeed Abdel-Salam was lying unconscious in the emergency room of Thawra hospital in the besieged Yemeni city of Taiz. He had been shot in the head by a sniper. His parents said he came under fire when he went to check on the doves on the roof early in the morning. Taiz in south-west Yemen is one of the cities hardest hit by ground-fighting and airstrikes. The outskirts and surrounding hilltops are mostly in the hands of Houthi forces; the city centre was retaken by forces loyal to President Hadi in August.

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Scandal of Britain's £6bn arms deals with war-torn Middle Eastern countries which could fall to ISIS

Mirror article by Chris Hughes:

Britain is selling billions of pounds' worth of weapons to the war-torn Middle East – including countries which could be overrun by ISIS.

Our soaring arms deals in the region include £15million in sales over the past five years to embattled Libya, large parts of which are already controlled by the vicious terror group.

Anti-arms trade campaigners say our ability to stop the weapons falling into the wrong hands once they are sold to Arab and African governments is failing as the jihadi network spreads.

Arms deals with foreign buyers – brokered by civil servants and approved by the Government – have created a deadly business that means nearly two-thirds of UK weapons exports go to the battled-scarred Middle East, critics say.

uk-arms-exports

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Yemen video - 'Bombs fall from the sky day and night'

Amnesty International researchers visited Yemen in June and July 2015 and gathered evidence of serious violations of international humanitarian law, including war crimes in Sa'da in northeastern Yemen. They investigated 13 deadly airstrikes which killed some 100 civilians including 59 children. They also documented the use of internationally banned cluster bombs.

Watch the video here

UNICEF Yemen Crisis Situation Report

Six months have passed since the escalation of the conflict in Yemen on 26 March 2015. These months of unremitting violence have left at least 505 children dead and 702 injured. Across the country, nearly 10 million children – 80 per cent of the country’s under-18 population – remain in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. More than 1.4 million people have been forced to flee their homes.

The last six months have also seen a growing number of attacks on civilians and vital infrastructure such as schools, hospitals, bridges and roads. Verified reports show that since March 2015, 41 schools and 61 hospitals have been attacked or damaged as a result of the fighting. Furthermore, at least 606 children have been recruited by armed groups and armed forces, according to the UNICEF-led Monitoring and Reporting Mechanism (MRM).

Download the full report here