Yemeni rights group sues Saudi Crown Prince in France

The Yemen conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million.

By REUTERS
April 10, 2018 11:22
2 minute read.
Yemeni rights group sues Saudi Crown Prince in France

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gestures during a military parade. (photo credit: SAUDI PRESS AGENCY/REUTERS)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

PARIS - A rights group filed a lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his visit to France on Tuesday, accusing him of complicity in torture and inhumane treatment in Yemen, lawyers said.

The complaint on behalf of Taha Hussein Mohamed, director of the Legal Center for Rights and Development (LCRD), said the prince, who is Saudi Arabia's defense minister, was responsible for attacks that hit civilians in Yemen.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The case was filed in a Paris court as pressure grows on President Emmanuel Macron to curb arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which spearhead a coalition fighting Iran-aligned Houthi rebels who control most of northern Yemen and the capital Sanaa.

A Saudi government communications office and the royal court did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Saudi-led coalition regularly says it does not target civilians.

The rights group, based in the Houthi-controlled Yemeni capital Sanaa, says on its website that it monitors and documents rights' violations in Yemen.

"He ordered the first bombings on Yemeni territory on March 25, 2015," the group's lawyers, Joseph Breham and Hakim Chergui, said in the complaint seen by Reuters.

"The existence of indiscriminate shelling by the coalition armed forces affecting civilian populations in Yemen can be qualified as acts of torture," they wrote.

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


The lawsuit may embarrass Macron at a delicate moment in French-Saudi relations. France is the world's third biggest arms exporter and counts the kingdom as one of its biggest buyers.

The lawyers cited UN reports and documentation by rights groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Oxfam on arbitrary detentions and the use of illegal cluster bombs.

Authorities will now begin studying the suit and decide whether there is a basis to take further legal action. If the case follows the usual course, the prince will be informed of the legal action, but there will be no move to make him attend a hearing or detain him.

The Yemen conflict has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million - more than 10 percent of the population.

The complaint also accuses the coalition of depriving millions of people access to basic necessities due to indiscriminate bombings and a naval blockade of Yemeni ports. The war has pushed the country to the brink of famine.

Coalition air strikes targeting Houthi fighters have frequently hit civilian areas, although the alliance denies ever doing so intentionally.

The coalition also says it is providing financial support to help aid agencies and humanitarian groups to help civilians.

The lawyers said French courts were competent to handle the case in line with the United Nations convention against torture.

Seventy-five percent of French people want Macron to suspend arms exports to Gulf Arab states. Several rights groups have warned of possible legal action if the government does not halt its sales.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Khashoggie Saudi Arabian Consulate
October 20, 2018
Trump comments after Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi died in consulate

By REUTERS/AZIZ EL YAAKOUBI/JEFF MASON/YARA BAYOUMY