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Yemen: Coalition Blockade Imperils Civilians

UN Should Sanction Senior Saudi Leaders

Thursday 07 December 2017

(Beirut, December 7, 2017) – The Saudi-led coalition’s broad restrictions on aid and essential goods to Yemen’s civilian population are worsening the country’s humanitarian catastrophe, Human Rights Watch said today. Unless the coalition immediately stops blocking aid and commercial goods from reaching civilians in Houthi-controlled territory, the United Nations Security Council should impose travel bans and asset freezes on senior coalition leaders, including the Saudi crown prince and defense minister, Mohammed bin Salman. 

The coalition has imposed a naval and air blockade on Yemen since the current conflict began in March 2015 that has severely restricted the flow of food, fuel, and medicine to civilians, in violation of international humanitarian law. The coalition closed all of Yemen’s entry points in response to a missile strike on Saudi’s Riyadh airport on November 4, 2017, by opposing Houthi-Saleh forces. While the coalition eased some restrictions in late November, it continues to prevent much aid and nearly all commercial imports from reaching Houthi-controlled ports, which has an unlawfully disproportionate impact on civilians’ access to essential goods. 

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