‘THE GREAT SERIOUSNESS IT DESERVES’

It is important that the Saudi Arabian-led Coalition in the first instance conducts thorough and conclusive investigations into incidents where it is alleged that IHL has been violated. They have the best insight into their own military procedures and will be able to conduct the most thorough and conclusive investigations.

UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, endorsing a Saudi-led investigation into alleged violations of international law in Yemen. According to Amnesty International, the investigation, which largely absolved the coalition, ‘failed to meet international standards‘.

Of course we are pressing for a full investigation, particularly of the attack on the funeral hall in Sana’a on 8 October, which shocked so many people around the world. . . . An investigation is now taking place—the interim findings were announced on 15 October—and we look forward to its completion. I welcome Saudi Arabia’s public commitment to review their rules of engagement and their command and control system and to take action against those responsible. . . . The Saudi Government have thus far approached the matter with the great seriousness it deserves

Johnson, speaking against a motion for an independent UN inquiry into Saudi war crimes in Yemen, as called for by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other leading human rights NGOs.

The army officer assigned to investigate alleged Saudi war crimes in Yemen played a key role in the 2011 crackdown on Arab Spring protesters in Bahrain . . .

In the wake of the start of the ongoing 2011 uprising, Bahrain’s military lawyer Colonel Mansour Al-Mansour presided over the First Instance Court of National Safety, a tribunal set up to process the trial and prosecution of hundreds of peaceful protesters and human rights and pro-democracy activists after they took to the streets calling for urgent reform of the tiny Gulf monarchy.

Al-Mansour now acts as legal adviser to the Joint Incident Assessments Team (JIAT), the body set up by the Saudi-led coalition to investigate bombings against civilian targets. He is playing a key role in assessing whether human rights violations have taken place.

Amongst Al-Mansour’s notorious convictions are the so-called ‘Bahraini Thirteen’, a group of activists, journalists and politicians who alleged torture, including sexual assault and beatings, during their detention. Several media and foreign human rights monitors were barred from observing their trial, the conduct of which drew strong criticism from the United Nations, European Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International.

– Middle East Monitor, 31.10.16.

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