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News code: 28097
Published Date: Wednesday 21 August 2019 - 09:15:19
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Saudi coalition attacks Yemeni fishing boats; HRW

Saudi coalition attacks Yemeni fishing boats; HRW
World  - Saudi-led coalition naval forces have carried out at least five deadly attacks on Yemeni fishing boats since 2018, Human Rights Watch said today.

Coalition warships and helicopters have been involved in attacks that killed at least 47 Yemeni fishermen, including 7 children, and the detention of more than 100 others, some of whom were tortured in custody in Saudi Arabia, the organizations revealed.


"The coalition attacks on fishermen and fishing boats appear to be deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects in violation of the laws of war. Coalition officials who ordered or carried out the attacks or tortured detainees are most likely responsible for war crimes."

Human Rights Watch interviewed survivors, witnesses, and knowledgeable sources about seven fishing boat attacks: six in 2018 and one in 2016. Civilians died in five of them. After they gathered there, coalition forces opened fire with light weapons, killing or wounding several men and boys. Warships and helicopters were involved in the attacks from short distances away, so the civilian nature of the fishing boats should have been clear. The fishermen waved white cloths, raised their hands, or otherwise showed they posed no threat. In three attacks, coalition forces did not attempt to rescue men adrift at sea, and many drowned.


"Coalition naval forces repeatedly attacked Yemeni fishing boats and Yemeni fishermen without any apparent determination that they were valid military targets," said Priyanka Motaparthy, acting emergencies director at Human Rights Watch. "Gunning down fishermen waving white cloths or leaving shipwrecked crew members to drown are war crimes."


The Saudi-led coalition has consistently failed to investigate alleged war crimes and other unlawful attacks, including the attacks on fishing boats, Human Rights Watch said. No coalition personnel are known to have been disciplined or prosecuted for attacking Yemeni fishing boats.

News Code: 28097
Published Date: Wednesday 21 August 2019 - 09:15:19
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