EghtesadOnline: ‘Jan Fermon’, an international Human Right Lawyer based in Brussels said that Saudi aggression on Yemen is breach of the United Nations Charter and that the Saudi leaders committed war crimes in Yemen by indiscriminate bombardment of a sovereign state.
The full text of his interview with IRNA comes as follows:
Q. What is your opinion about the Saudi aggression on Yemen?
A. This is an illegal use of force and the breach of Charter of United Nations.
The Charter of the United Nations bans the use of Force in International relations and puts the burden on the UN Security Council to use all possible means to resolve crises like the one occurred in Yemen.
The basic responsibility to solve the crisis is of course with the sovereign people of Yemen themselves.
The United Nations takes initiatives to encourage different parties to the conflict in a sovereign nation to solve their political differences, internal differences through negotiations, peaceful means and democratic process.
That process which was actually going on was interrupted by the Saudi intervention and by illegal use of force.
I think this intervention, although the Security Council of the UN did not condemn it but took notice of it.
I think the intervention is illegal and is in violation of international Law, is in violation of the letter and the spirit of the charter of the UN and the international community should have helped the Yemeni people to solve their differences and their crises through negotiations and through democratic process; Saudi Arabia exactly did in contrary.
Q. Has Saudi Arabia committed any war crime in Yemen?
A. Yes of course. The invasion has led to massive war crimes and massive crimes against humanity.
The systematic targeting of civilians, civil infrastructure, schools, hospitals, water supply, indiscriminate bombings which are not aimed at military targets but aimed at civilians, the destruction of cultural heritage; All these are war crimes described in the Geneva conventions and the Saudi leaders should of course be held accountable for, by the international community.
Q. Why does the British government support Saudi Arabia?
A. Unfortunately some governments from European countries have been in strategic alliance with Saudi Arabia for a very long time. There are a series of reasons of course such as control over Oil, strategic control over the Middle East, the artificial and harmful conflict with Iran, arms trade; I think all these contribute to the fact that the government of some western countries, not only accepted this aggression but even became accomplished of such aggression, because we know that the bombs falling on Yemeni people now are in many occasion and situations are British made bombs and that some of fighter jets are British and French.
It is not only a matter of accepting it, but it is a matter of condemning the war crimes perpetrated by the Saudi leaders systematically in Yemen.
Q. What is your opinion about Saudi becoming the chair of UN human right?
A. It is of course an outrage that a country like Saudi Arabia that is a threat to peace in the region and destabilizing its neighbors, exporting terrorism and imposing dictatorship on its people could have any kind of responsibility in the UN body; But unfortunately that’s how the international politics works.
I think Saudi Arabia should be suspended from all the UN bodies because the Saudi leaders violate UN charter, they violate the universal declaration of Human Rights, they violate Geneva conventions. So there is not one single international law that is not violated by the Saudi authorities.
Q. Is it possible to prosecute Saudi leaders by the international Criminal Court?
A. The problem is that ICC is a very politicized mechanism and that leaders and military commanders of the countries can be taken to ICC if they accepted jurisdiction of the criminal court. Yemen has not accepted jurisdiction of ICC either.
The only other way to take the Saudi leaders to the ICC is to pass through the security council of the UN which we know that any proposal to bring Saudi Arabia to the ICC will be vetoed by the United States.
So, I think we will have to think about other legal possibilities the Universal Jurisdiction to hold Saudi leader accountable for their crimes other than ICC.
That does not mean that there is no legal forum that this case can be discussed does not mean that there is no war crimes committed.