Almost exactly two years ago, on 11th December 2019, a coalition of European and Yemeni groups led by Mwatana for Human Rights and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), including Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), submitted a Communication to the International Criminal Court in the Hague. It called on the Court to investigate European governments and arms company officials for potentially aiding and abetting war crimes in Yemen.
Two years on, the lack of accountability for abuses of human rights and violations of International Humanitarian Law in Yemen has never been greater. The Office of the Prosecutor is still examining the Communication to decide if the ICC will start a formal investigation.
Today – on International Human Rights Day – CAAT launches a letter writing campaign calling on the Chief Prosecutor, British lawyer Karim Khan, to do everything in his power to secure accountability for the people of Yemen.
Katie Fallon of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:
“For the past seven years the international community has repeatedly and unforgivably failed the people of Yemen. Most recently, the UN Human Rights Council failed to renew the only international and impartial body to investigate violations of human rights perpetrated by all parties to the conflict.
Despite warnings from the very start of the bombing that war crimes were being committed, UK and EU arms exports to Saudi continued without restraint. On Human Rights Day 2021 we call on the ICC and Prosecutor Karim Khan QC, to use the mandate of the Court to enforce the rule of law and deliver justice to the people of Yemen.”
Information on the Communication
The Communication calls on the ICC to investigate whether arms companies executives, including those of BAE Systems and Raytheon UK, as well as government ministers and officials, by authorising and exporting arms to members of the Saudi/UAE-led coalition, have been contributing to serious violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen that may amount to war crimes. The Communication argues that the economic and political actors of the EU and UK involved in supplying these arms potentially bear criminal responsibility.