Human rights violations

Airstrikes on Yemen funeral kill at least 140 people, UN official says

Article for theguardian by Nadia Khomani

Houthi rebels say Saudi-led coalition to blame for attack on ceremony that left at least another 525 wounded

More than 140 people were killed and more than 525 wounded when airstrikes hit a funeral ceremony in Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, a senior UN official has said, as Houthi rebels blamed the attack on the Saudi-led coalition.

The dead and wounded include senior military and security officials from the ranks of the Shia Houthi rebels fighting the internationally recognised government of president Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi as well as their allies, loyalists of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

In the aftermath of the strike on Saturday, hundreds of body parts were found strewn in and outside the hall. Rescuers collected them in sacks. “The place has been turned into a lake of blood,” said one rescuer, Murad Tawfiq.

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Video of Saudi airstrike on Yemen funeral hall

Video of Saudi airstrike on Yemen funeral hall wake. 1st airstrike followed by 2nd strike to hit rescuers.

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U.S. is “making excuses” for Saudi war crimes in Yemen, rights group says

Article by Ben Norton for Salon.com

Human Rights Watch has criticized the U.S. government for “making excuses” for the atrocities committed by its close ally Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen.

“Despite rising outrage over the bloody civilian toll in Yemen’s war, the United States administration is showing no signs of breaking with — or attempting to check — the actions of its ally Saudi Arabia,” Priyanka Motaparthy, senior emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch, wrote on Thursday.

Since March 2015, a coalition of Middle Eastern countries led by Saudi Arabia and armed and supported by the U.S. and the United Kingdom has brutally bombed Yemen, the poorest country in the Middle East.

“The U.S. has supported the Saudi-led campaign with aerial refueling and targeting assistance without criticizing Saudi Arabia and its allies for repeatedly and unlawfully bombing civilians, committing apparent war crimes,” Motaparthy wrote.

The Human Rights Watch researcher stressed, “The nature of this support makes the U.S. a party to the armed conflict, and potentially culpable in unlawful strikes.”

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