The naval blockade imposed on Yemen by a Saudi-led coalition has substantially contributed to pushing Yemeni civilians into starvation and can be considered torture, the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) said in a report published today.
"The tens of thousands of civilians who die due to malnutrition, waterborne diseases, and the lack of access to healthcare are no collateral damage of the conflict", said Hélène Legeay, legal director at OMCT's Middle East and North Africa office. "They are the direct victims of a combination of war crimes committed by the various sides, in which the naval blockade imposed by the Saudi-led Coalition plays a major role. The blockade threatens to plunge the country into famine and violates international norms, including the United Nations Convention against Torture."
"The Coalition's searches have not led to any discovery of weapons", said Legeay. "Instead, restrictions on fuel imports, in particular, keep having a knock-on effect on the provision of food, drinking water, and healthcare." Yemen needs diesel generators to pump most of its water and keep clinics and hospitals running. "Since the April 2022 ceasefire, the restrictions have been eased, and the fuel delivery has increased. This is a positive but insufficient step forward. The blockade must stop immediately and completely, rather than depend on a fragile and long peace process."
The report argues that Coalition member States, particularly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, could be held responsible, leading to international criminal liability for their agents. The same goes for their accomplices, States and private companies that supply arms and thus play a crucial role in compounding the situation. The report calls for an end to the blockade, international scrutiny of these crimes, the punishment of perpetrators, and collective reparations to the Yemeni people.
Both the Saudi coalition as well as the Houthis use starvation as a tactic. Yet by not insisting the blockade cease, Biden not only contributed to the humanitarian catastrophe, he signaled that the blockade constitutes an appropriate condition for negotiation. While the diplomats continue to talk, the Saudis are actively starving the Yemenis of the fuel necessary to transport food and water.
Police in the capital appeared to be following the playbook that authorities used over the weekend to break the blockade at the economically vital Ambassador Bridge connecting Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit. Police there handed out leaflets informing protesters they risked arrest.
After many of those demonstrators left and the protest had dwindled, police moved in and made dozens of arrests. The blockade there had disrupted the flow of goods between the two countries and forced the auto industry on both sides to curtail production.
On June 24, 1948, Soviet forces blockaded all road, rail and water routes into Berlin's Allied-controlled areas, stifling the vital flow of food, coal and other supplies. Soviet troop numbers dwarfed those of the Allies, which had drawn down after the war, so there was little the Allies could do about it militarily.
But the Soviets couldn't block Allied airspace, so U.S. and UK forces took to the skies to get supplies to the Allied sectors. On June 26, the U.S. launched Operation Vittles, which the U.K. later joined. It was the biggest aerial resupply mission ever embarked upon. The Allies also imposed their own counter-blockade, restricting trade with East Germany and East Berlin.
Things weren't going well for the Soviets. The airlift had been going on for 10 months, and the Allies had proven they could keep it up indefinitely. The Russians had gained a reputation as bullies because of their blockade. On top of that, an Allied counter-blockade was causing severe shortages in the Russian sectors, leading to fears of an uprising.
Following the surrender of Fort Sumter to the Confederacy, Abraham Lincoln and his military advisors beganto consider a variety of plans to bring the South back into the Union. In less than a week, the Union beganits blockade of the southern states in an effort to prevent the trade of goods, supplies, and weapons between the Confederacy and other nations.
Prize law is that part of international law which concerns the capture of enemy property by a belligerent at sea during war.The National Archives at New York City maintains prize cases of ships seized during the blockade from an array of ships. These records are organized by ship name and included with these records are materials confiscated from the seized vessels. Also in these materials, is a copy of two Presidential proclamations from Abraham Lincoln concerning the blockade. These proclamations, like Lincoln's more famousEmancipation Proclamation and Proclamation suspending the Writ of Habeas Corpus, had the force of law despite the fact they didn't follow the legislative process. The constitutionality of these acts of Presidential power continues to be debated to this day.
Following the briefing, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Gregory Meeks (NY-05) and a bipartisan group of members from the Middle East subcommittee sent a letter urging the administration to pressure Saudi Arabia to lift the blockade. 76 members of the House led by Rep. Debbie Dingell (MI-12) and 16 Senators led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (MA) have sent similar letters, as did a coalition of over 70 national advocacy organizations and more than a dozen celebrities.
As a top policy priority, the Biden administration must use its vast leverage to compel Saudi Arabia to immediately and unconditionally lift the blockade. Members of Congress should continue to call on the administration to do so and should introduce and pass legislation to prohibit all forms of U.S. support for the blockade and other offensive operations of the Saudi-UAE coalition in Yemen.
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A. whereas the only road connecting Nagorno-Karabakh with Armenia and the outside world, the Lachin corridor, has been blocked by self-proclaimed environmentalists from Azerbaijan since 12 December 2022; whereas this has disrupted access to essential goods and services, including food, fuel and medication, for the 120 000 Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh, effectively placing them under a blockade;
B. whereas the blockade has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, significantly affecting the most vulnerable populations; whereas the transfer of critically ill patients is nearly impossible, with one death resulting from this situation; whereas hundreds of families remain separated; 781b155fdc