Statement on the Houthi attack and war crime perpetrated this past Saturday, which killed over 100 worshipers and injured more than 100 others in Marib, Yemen
January 21, 2020
The Embassy of the Republic of Yemen in Washington, DC, strongly condemns the most recent Houthi war crime perpetrated this past Saturday, which killed 111 worshipers and injured more than 100 others. The Iran-backed Houthi militias launched three ballistic missiles at a mosque in Al Meil during Magreb prayers, in violation of the Geneva Convention and all international human rights law. The Houthis deliberately targeted a place of worship during prayer time to maximize fatalities in direct contravention of all international human rights law, making this atrocity a clear war crime.
Since the Houthis violently overthrew Sana’a in 2014, they have committed 738 violations against places of worship and worshipers, causing the full or partial destruction of 73 mosques. These violations include the bombing, shelling, and looting of mosques, as well as detention of imams and the conversion of mosques into military barracks.
“The Iran-backed Houthis committed an egregious war crime when they targeted worshipers during prayer time,” said Ambassador of Yemen to the US, Ahmed Awad BinMubarak. “The Geneva Convention and international human rights law forbid this inhumane kind of attack on places of worship. The United Nations and international community must condemn this barbaric attack, and take action to ensure the Houthis do not get away with such blatant disregard for human life and international law.”
The Houthis have violated international law thousands of times since they stormed the capital of Yemen in 2014. The United Nations has documented proof of Houthi recruitment of child soldiers, diversion of humanitarian aid, landmine contamination, civilian targeting and countless other violations of human rights. Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights urges the United Nations and the UN Security Council to issue a binding resolution against the Houthi militias to cease all violations, especially those against places of worship. Further, the UN must do more to protect places of worship at risk during war.