REP. LIEU & MEMBERS OF CONGRESS URGE AMBASSADOR HALEY TO CALL FOR U.N. INVESTIGATION OF YEMEN ATROCITIES
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON - Today, Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) led a letter to U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley urging her to join the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) in calling for an independent, international investigation into the allegations of human rights violations committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen. On September 13, 2017, the Netherlands and Canada unveiled a draft resolution to establish such an international commission of inquiry.
In the letter, Mr. Lieu and Members write:
“In light of the damning report by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on September 5, 2017, it is clear that previous efforts to protect civilians and achieve a peaceful resolution have failed and the situation requires a new mechanism to bring accountability to this manmade conflict. We write to urge you to use your voice at the United Nations to join the OHCHR in calling for an independent, international investigation into the allegations of violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Yemen.”
“During your visit to Geneva in June, you explicitly cited the U.N. investigative bodies for Syria and North Korea as examples of the Human Rights Council “at its best” by “calling out human rights violators and abuses,” but noted that when the Human Rights Council fails to act in the face of grotesque human rights violations, “it undermines its own credibility and the cause of human rights.” We agree with you. The situation in Yemen is precisely what the U.N. Human Rights Council was created to address.”
Congressman Lieu’s previous work on Yemen:
In July 2017, the House of Representatives passed Congressman Lieu’s amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 that requires the Departments of Defense and State to report to Congress on whether the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners are abiding by their commitments in Yemen to avoid civilian casualties.
In May 2017, Congressmen Lieu and Ted Yoho (R-FL) called on House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce to review the proposed sale of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia. Congressman Lieu also introduced legislation to place conditions on all air-to-ground munitions sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The three conditions relate to avoiding civilian casualties, facilitating humanitarian aid, and targeting U.S.-designated terrorist organizations such as AQAP and ISIS.
In April 2017, Congressman Lieu led a letter with a bipartisan group of 30 Members of Congress to Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of State Tillerson requesting information related to the operational conduct of the Royal Saudi Air Force in Yemen.
In November 2016, Congressman Lieu led the Lantos Human Rights Commission in holding a hearing on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. In August 2016, Congressman Lieu led a bipartisan group of 64 Members of Congress in sending a letter to President Barack Obama urging him to postpone the sale of new arms to Saudi Arabia. The letter raised concerns regarding the Saudi-led Coalition’s killing of civilians. Previously, Congressman Lieu had repeatedly raised similar concerns, sending letters to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Secretaries John Kerry and Ash Carter. He also introduced legislation to establish new guidelines for weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.
THE FULL TEXT OF THE LETTER CAN BE FOUND HERE