Houthis committed ‘massacres’ in Yemen: Report

Shiite tribesmen, known as Houthis, hold their weapons during a tribal gathering showing support for the Houthi movement in Sanaa, Yemen, in this Dec. 15, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 27 March 2017

Houthis committed ‘massacres’ in Yemen: Report

JEDDAH: Large-scale “massacres” have been perpetrated in Yemen by Houthi militias and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a recent report has found.
Yemen’s National Human Rights Commission pointed to crimes against unarmed civilians including indiscriminate shelling of residential compounds and popular markets, using artillery and Katyusha rocket launchers.
The report described grave violations of international human rights law and crimes against humanity, saying the perpetrators must be punished.
It cited 11 incidents in which Houthi and forces loyal to Saleh carried out massacres, including the targeting and killing of displaced people from Tawahi, with militia dropping mortars on unarmed civilians fleeing in small boats.
According to the report, human rights teams monitored the killing of 10,811 Yemeni civilians over the past two years by Houthi gunfire and shelling, including 679 women, 1,002 children, and 9,160 men. The majority were killed in 2015, the report revealed, confirming that Houthi and Saleh militias had been deliberately targeting civilians.
The rise of civilian deaths in 2015 was attributed by the commission to the invasion by Houthi militia and Saleh loyalists of Yemen’s central and southern provinces, where they had been indiscriminately bombing populated areas, including schools and hospitals.
The report continued to indicate that the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen had not targeted any civilians or struck populated residential areas.
Despite the availability of information about the presence of weapons and ammunition in such residential areas, the coalition had refrained from bombing these areas to avoid claiming lives of innocent civilians, the report found.
Instead, the coalition relies on targeted military operations in order to avoid any loss of civilian life, and is committed to maintaining war ethics and refraining from violating human rights or international standards.
A joint incident assessment committee has been formed, comprising of 14 members including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE, which will investigate any accusations of violations. 

Majority of Saudi youth ‘highly interested’ in volunteer work

Updated 15 min 30 sec ago

Majority of Saudi youth ‘highly interested’ in volunteer work

  • The main reason given for preventing Saudi youth from volunteering was not having enough time

RIYADH: The majority of Saudi youth would be more than willing to get involved in volunteer work, according to a survey.

The study found that 84 percent of the 1,126 young people questioned were “highly interested” in donating their time to take part in community programs.

Almost half of those quizzed from throughout the Kingdom — of which 64 percent were men and 36 percent women – said that finding a volunteer opportunity in the Saudi community was “easy,” while 27 percent found it “difficult” and 11 percent claimed no openings were available.

However, 14 percent noted that young Saudis did not receive enough information about volunteer opportunities.

The results of the survey, conducted by the National Center for Public Opinion Polls at the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue, in Riyadh, also showed that 70 percent of respondents had read or heard about the importance and advantages of volunteering, as opposed to 30 percent who were unaware.

Of those questioned, 45 percent had already participated in volunteer work, and the expectations of 68 percent of them were met.

The main reason given for preventing Saudi youth from volunteering was not having enough time (49 percent), while 24 percent said they “did not know about the volunteer opportunities,” 13 percent “had difficulty in getting volunteer opportunities,” and 12 percent replied by saying they had never been asked to contribute their time.

The motivations for taking part were “serving the community” (22 percent), “appreciation incentives” (16 percent), “financial incentives” (12 percent), “self-fulfillment and self-satisfaction” (7.5 percent), and “learning values and ethics” (7 percent).

Around 5 percent of other important incentives were to “acquire knowledge and skills,” “build social relationships,” “develop a career,” “submit the volunteer hours to work and school,” and “experience the volunteer work environment.”