Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

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Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.orgHome – Stephen Lendman)

The Saudis are complicit with the US, UK, France, Israel, the UAE, and other countries involved in committing years of horrendous Nuremberg-level crimes of war, against humanity and genocide against millions of Yemenis.

Hundreds of thousands likely perished from US-initiated post-9/11 aggression in the country – succumbing to war, related violence, untreated diseases, famine, and overall deprivation.

On November 26, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said it “filed a submission with an Argentine federal prosecutor, outlining its public findings on alleged violations of international law committed during the armed conflict in Yemen for which Mohammed bin Salman may face criminal liability as Saudi Arabia’s defense minister,” adding: 

“The submission also highlights his possible complicity in serious allegations of torture and other ill-treatment of Saudi citizens, including the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.”

According to HRW executive director Kenneth Roth, “Argentine prosecutorial authorities should scrutinize Mohammed bin Salman’s (direct) role in…war crimes committed by” his regime in Yemen,” adding: 

His “attendance at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires (later this week) could make the Argentine courts an avenue of redress for victims of abuses unable to seek justice in Yemen or Saudi Arabia.”

Argentina recognizes universal jurisdiction (UJ). The international legal principle holds that certain crimes are too grave to ignore – including genocide, crimes of war and against humanity.

Under UJ, nations may investigate and prosecute foreign nationals when their country of residence or origin won’t, can’t or hasn’t for any reason. 

Article 7 of the Charter of the Nuremberg International Military Tribunal states:

“The official position of defendants, whether as Head of State or responsible officials in Government departments, shall not be considered as freeing them from responsibility or mitigating punishment.”

The Nuremberg Tribunal’s Chief Justice Robert Jackson called aggression “the supreme international crime against peace…the greatest menace of our times” – no one to be free from prosecution if evidence indicates involvement, including the highest level political and military officials.

Nuremberg-level high crimes are committed in all US war theaters, the Saudis and top officials of complicit countries are culpable, along with their US political and military counterparts.

Argentina’s criminal procedure code provides that anyone can submit to the nation’s authorities evidence of high crimes too egregious to ignore.

HRW submitted documented information about Saudi war crimes in Yemen to Argentine federal Judge Ariel Lijo. MBS serves as de facto Saudi ruler and war minister, the commander-in-chief of Riyadh’s military.

He’s responsible for kingdom aggression in Yemen, including war crimes committed by its military.

His involvement includes orders to terror-bomb residential areas, hospitals, schools, marketplaces, food storage facilities, mosques, and other non-military targets – committing vast destruction, massacring countless thousands.

Defenseless civilians comprise the vast majority of casualties. US-supported, encouraged and enforced Saudi/UAE air and naval blockade constitutes a high crime of war and against humanity.

In response to HRW’s submission and a complaint by an Argentine federal prosecutor, the country initiated an inquiry into whether to charge MBS with crimes of war, against humanity, and genocide in Yemen.

MBS will be in Buenos Aires later this week for the G20 summit – his arrest highly unlikely, according to the hardline Macri regime.

In November 2016, Argentine Vice President Gabriela Michetti met with Saudi officials in Riyadh – saying at the time “Argentina is undergoing a process of change, and we are here to explain about the country’s economic transformation because we need a stronger relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.” 

HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson said “(t)here’s an extremely strong basis for Argentina to closely examine a very broad record of documentation and facts,” adding: 

“People around the world are desperate to see real accountability for people who are getting away with terrible crimes.”

Clearly, MBS wouldn’t attend the G20 summit in Buenos Aires if he believed there’s any possibility of being held accountable for high crimes in Yemen and/or for ordering Khashoggi’s murder.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.