According to interviews conducted by the UN Human Rights Office with injured protestors and witnesses in Sana’a, the protestors were armed only with sticks, stones and umbrellas, and security forces opened fire with live ammunition without warning. To date, no official investigation has been initiated into the alleged excessive use of force. Those killed included a farmer, an ambulance driver, an airport worker and students.
As Yemen faces various internal challenges, it is more crucial than ever that violations of international human rights law are not swept under the carpet. A prompt, impartial investigation will send a strong signal of deterrence to perpetrators of such violations and ensure that victims’ right to justice and remedy is upheld.
We call on all sides of the political divide in Yemen to renounce the use of violence and to participate in the ongoing national processes in order to avoid further instability and bloodshed.