The Arab Federation for Human Rights participated in the 31st session of the UN Human Rights Council, which was held from February 29th to March 24th 2016, at the UN Headquarters in Geneva. During this Session, The Federation decided to organize a protest stand to condemn the war crimes and human rights violations committed by both the Houthis and Saleh’s militia during the conflict in Yemen.
The Secretary General of the organization Mr. Isa Rashid Al-Arabi, stated that it scheduled and held a number of symposiums and events that correspond to the meetings of the Session. The Federation also meet with several non-governmental organizations, in continuation of its work in building and developing the grid of its international relations and alliances, grounded on the principle of open-mindedness and cooperation with all the non-governmental human-rights institutions and establishments. Al-Arabi also mentioned that the Federation’s strategy of participating in the activities of the Session revolved around discussing the human rights situation in the Arab World, especially in Yemen, Syria and Palestine.
The Federation is one of the largest alliances of non-governmental human-rights organizations in the Arab Region. It consists of about 30 Arab human-rights organizations concerned with the issues of Arab citizens.
The Secretary General of the Arab Federation for Human Rights further pointed out that the organization will endeavor to bridge and tackle many issues related to human rights conditions in the Arab World in a positive and constructive way. this will be handed in such a way that will not only showcase the reality of human rights in the Arab World but also improve and develop it. In addition, the Federation will endeavor to put down in writing several violations, discrimination and confiscation of freedoms. It will equally strive to lay the foundations of the principles of equality, justice, equal citizenship and peaceful co-existence amongst the different strata of society in Arab countries. This will be achieved by focusing on the core values upon which the Federation acts, and which rest on integration and universality in tackling the violations against human rights. The Federation also seeks to tailor the national legislations and develop practices and policies in the Arab World in collaboration with all the key stakeholders, as well as manage the Arab human rights activities with different UN-affiliated human rights agencies, in addition to international and regional non-governmental organizations alike.
Al-Arabi also asserted that the Arab Federation for Human Rights will embody, through participation, its Arabian frame of reference in each aspect related to the human rights issues in the Arab World, and that it will be the Arabian entity which represents the Arab citizens’ issues in the field of human rights, at the regional and international levels.
With regards to the activities of the Federation during such participations, Al-Arabi indicated that it held several proceedings dedicated to discussing the real human rights state-of-affairs in the Arab Region. More emphasis was laid on the atrocities suffered by civilians in Yemen
with regards to the violation of human rights throughout the whole country. The proceedings also reviewed the crimes committed by the Houthis and Saleh’s militia against humanity, as well as the war crimes committed against the Yemeni people, which crimes are punishable under International Law and International Humanitarian Laws. Such crimes include but not limited to the use of landmines, siege and destruction of cities, hindering health and educational services, as well as direct homicides, which are all crimes committed by the Houthis and Saleh’s militia. This happened in the light of an international failure to enforce the resolutions of international legitimacy, as represented by the UN Security Council. Additionally, the Federation denounced the failure of the International Community to assume its duties and responsibilities to protect civilians in Syria, as well as in Palestine.
The Arab Federation for Human Rights scheduled to hold several meetings with the representatives of the Member States in the Human Rights Council and the officials at the High Commission for Human Rights. Through these meetings, the Federation worked to highlight the human rights issues in the Arab World and equally demonstrated the real sufferings of Arab citizens in several Middle Eastern and European countries. This included the violations and crimes against humanity, particularly the sufferings of Syrians overseas, or during their journeys to escape from the acts of murder committed against them by their ruling regime. The same occurred in Yemen, where the International Community failed to obligate the Houthis and Saleh’s militia to enforce the international resolutions issued by the Security Council. The Palestinians also suffer from deliberate murder, in breach of international human rights laws, and those responsible for such murder, the Israeli Occupation Forces, were not questioned nor punished for their continued violations and crimes against the Palestinian People.