Saudi coalition refutes ‘biased’ and ‘inaccurate’ UN Yemen report

The Arab coalition said some aspects of the report were incorrect and biased. (SPA)
Updated 30 August 2018
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Saudi coalition refutes ‘biased’ and ‘inaccurate’ UN Yemen report

  • Report ignored the role of Houthis in starting the conflict and their Iran backers
  • UN allegations based on 'misleading reports of some NGOs and media publications'

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition on Wednesday refuted a UN report on Yemen that made a series of accusations against the alliance.

In a strongly worded statement, the coalition, which supports forces loyal to the internationally recognized government, rejected the claim that it did not provide information requested by the UN.

The coalition dismissed as “false” and “inaccurate” claims in the report that its forces were obstructing humanitarian access to civilians in the country.

The statement also said the report, which was published on Tuesday, disregarded the humanitarian role played by the coalition countries in Yemen, including recent donations from Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Kuwait amounting to $1.8 billion. 

The coalition also accused the panel of experts who drafted the report of bias and ignoring the fact that the conflict started after the Houthi militia seized control of the capital Sanaa in a “coup” in 2014.

The statement said the report also ignored the role played by Iran in supporting the Houthis.

“The coalition countries completely disagree with all the report’s conclusion,” the statement said. “The report had many methodological fallacies, some regarding the description of the conflict’s facts, which lacked objectivity.” 

The coalition said the report’s false allegations that its forces had targeted civilians “were based on misleading reports of some NGOs and media publications.”

“These allegations were included in the report although the coalition countries had already refuted them during their meetings with the UN group of experts,” the statement said.

“The coalition affirms that the group rushed while objectively assessing the human rights situation in Yemen, as well as the inaccuracies in its conclusions and recommendations.”


British-Iranian aid worker moved back to jail from hospital ward — husband

In this undated photo provided by the Free Nazanin Campaign, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe hugs her daughter Gabriella, in Iran. (AP)
Updated 23 July 2019
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British-Iranian aid worker moved back to jail from hospital ward — husband

  • British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament the fact she had been moved back to prison was “a positive sign”

LONDON: British-Iranian aid worker Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe has been transferred back to an Iranian prison from a hospital psychiatric ward, her husband said on Monday.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a project manager with the Thomson Reuters Foundation, was moved to the psychiatric ward of Imam Khomeini hospital in the capital on July 15, the “Free Nazanin” campaign group run by her husband said last week.
“Nazanin has been returned from psychiatric hospital, and is now back in Evin prison,” her husband, Richard, said in a statement. She was discharged at her request and the request of the hospital doctor, the campaign group said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was told she had been admitted to hospital for a 10-day period of assessment. She received psychotherapy sessions, had physical checks and was prescribed some medicines, the campaign group seeking her release said.
In its release, the group quoted Zaghari-Ratcliffe saying that she was kept in a private room measuring 2 meters by 3 meters (6.5 feet by 9.8 feet) and was handcuffed and chained to the bed day and night.
The Iranian embassy in London declined immediate comment on the case.
“They did all they could to me – handcuffs, ankle cuffs, in a private room 2x3m, with thick curtains, and the door closed all the time,” she was quoted as saying. “I wasn’t allowed to leave the room, as I was chained to the bed.”
British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told parliament the fact she had been moved back to prison was “a positive sign.”
“The way that she was detained for a week without being able to have any access to her family was totally unacceptable and I am afraid all too predictable from the Iranian regime,” he said.
Zaghari-Ratcliffe was arrested in April 2016 at a Tehran airport as she headed back to Britain with her daughter after a family visit, and was sentenced to five years in jail after being convicted of plotting to overthrow Iran’s clerical establishment.
Her family and the Foundation, a charity organization that operates independently of Thomson Reuters and Reuters News, deny the charge.