Human Rights Watch has expressed doubts that a Saudi-led investigation into a strike on a refugee boat earlier this month will result in an impartial investigation.
Several dozen people were killed when a boat carrying Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen was fired on from a helicopter on March 16. Women and children were among the victims when the vessel was hit near the Bab al-Mandeb strait, the International Organization for Migration said earlier of the incident, which was condemned by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) over the weekend.
HRW pinned the blame for the strike on the Saudi Arabia-led coalition waging brutal aggression on Yemen since March 2015.
“Only the Saudi-led coalition has military aircraft. The Houthi-Saleh forces do not. Somalia, which supports the coalition, called on the coalition to investigate,” the HRW statement said, calling on the UN to investigate the deadly boat attack.
“We want the Human Rights Council to take up this matter and conduct an impartial investigation as well, to have the weight of the UN Human Rights Council behind it,” Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division told Russia Today.
“What we know is not going to be sufficient is to have the Saudi coalition investigate itself, because to date its investigations have not been serious,” the coauthor of HRW report added.
The investigation into the boat attack, as with all alleged war crimes in Yemen, is set to be investigated by Riyadh-led Joint Incidents Assessment Team (JIAT) comprising 14 coalition member states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.
HRW and other rights groups have repeatedly blamed JIAT’s methodology, including its verification of information and the choice of incidents investigated, for not being transparent enough. Overall, rights group say that JIAT probes appear to be falling short of international standards.
Source: Russia Today