By: Hamid Sani
It is more than four months that Saudi monarch has ordered a wide range of air strike on Yemen. Brutal attacks that the world has witnessed in Gaza before. It is not a mere political claim. They have the same responsibilities as Nazi criminals like Rudolf Hess and Martin Bormann on the Nuremburg tribunal. Nazi criminals were sentenced to death as a penalty of their atrocities during the World War II. There are many legal documentaries related to Saudi crimes on Yemen.
International humanitarian law describes possible crimes that may occur during any armed conflict and specifies a framework to guide a military operation. These principles enjoy some civil, criminal and political guarantees to enforce rule of law on this conflicts. Numerous international institutions like “International Criminal Court” and “UN Security Council” are responsible for watching these conflicts and set appropriate decisions regarding any violation.
Earlier, Saudi Foreign Minister, Adel al-Jubeir claimed that this aggression is based on “Self-Defense” principle. Article 51 of the UN Charter states” Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations”. While, there has not been a potential threat from the poorest Arabic country against the richest one.
Committing “war crimes”, “crimes against humanity”, “use of force contrary to the UN Charter” and “violation of the international covenant on civil and political rights” form Saudi Arabia’s honors collection in Yemen. Here we point on some legal evidence and related Articles about these crimes.
1- War crimes
Geneva Convention of 1949 and their additional protocols specify the basic rules of war in international and non-international armed conflicts. According to Article 50 of the first treaty, Article 51 of the second treaty, Article 147 of forth treaty and Article 85 of first protocol “indiscriminate attacks on civilian population”, “willful killing” and “extensive destruction and appropriation of property, not justified by military necessity and carried out unlawfully and wantonly” would be considered as greave breaches of this convention and humanitarian law. According to Article 85 of this protocol perpetrators of these crimes are war criminals.
Bombardment of “Sana’a” and “Alhadide” airport in order to prohibit humanitarian aids, targeting innocents, systematic destruction of urban facilities and civilian properties nominated conductors of “decisive storm” as war criminals.
2- Crimes against humanity
According to Article 8 of international criminal court statute “Attack directed against any civilian population’ means a course of conduct involving the multiple commission of acts referred to in paragraph 1 against any civilian population, pursuant to or in furtherance of a State or organizational policy to commit such attack”. Brutal bombing of Yemeni cities and attacking on civilian populations are a sample of this Article. Separation, proportionality and necessity in attacks do not mean for invaders.
3- Use of force
According to Article 2, paragraph 4 of the UN Charter “All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations”. As only Security Council under chapter seven condition could take necessary measures. Article 39 states: “The Security Council shall determine the existence of any threat to the peace, breach of the peace, or act of aggression and shall make recommendations, or decide what measures shall be taken in accordance with Articles 41 and 42, to maintain or restore international peace and security”. Since KSA did not obtained any permission from Security Council to pull the trigger, “decisive storm” operation is a significant violation of the UN charter.
In addition to mentioned conventions, there are some other treaties like “The Hague Convention respecting the Laws and Customs of War” that has been widely violated with Saudi aggression. Nowadays, many of these regulations and customs are international “Jus cogens” and no deviation of them is accepted.
Undoubtedly, if international society set up a fact-finding committee to investigate about weapons and techniques that are used with Saudi, many hidden aspects of this operation will be apparent.
According to Article 49, 50,129 and 146 of Geneva conventions respectively, “Each High Contracting Party shall be under the obligation to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts”. These kind of trials would investigate the case under universal jurisdiction. There are some precedents for such tribunals in Britain, Belgium and France.
As a result of the precedents of the Pinochet case, other leaders who have committed well-documented crimes have been pursued, including former US Secretary of State Kissinger and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon of Israel. Kissinger has restricted his international travel, because he is wanted in so many jurisdictions either for trial or as a prosecution witness [www.globalpolicy.org].
Security Council, also, established the international criminal tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and Ruanda, for crimes against humanity and war crimes. Therefore, it made a great hope on victims of these atrocities.
However, these rules, conventions, customs and precedents seem not to be capable to convince international society to take proper measures against Saudi crimes on Yemen. As these double standards didn’t get to stop Zionist regime from committing crimes on Gaza.
There is no doubt that Abdul-Aziz successor have widely committed a collection of crimes on Yemen and international entities restraint themselves from acting against. This could shame humanitarian law before public opinion and result in new era of wickedness.