Yemen: People who ordered mosque bombings must be brought to justice

The suicide bombing of two mosques in Sanaa today, that killed dozens of people and wounded more than 100 others, must be investigated immediately and those responsible brought to justice, Amnesty International said today.

Images broadcast from the scene showed mosque carpets covered in shattered glass and injured people being carried out of the mosques as bodies lay in pools of blood nearby.

The attacks took place at the Badr mosque in southern Sanaa, and the al-Hashoosh mosque in a northern district of the capital just after noon prayers. Both are frequented mostly by Houthi supporters.   

The attacks are some of the deadliest to take place in Yemen since the Houthi takeover of the capital in September 2014. They come a day after clashes in Aden, in the south, between supporters of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and supporters of the Houthis injured a number of people, and fighter jets attacked the presidential palace in the same city.

Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, said:

“Attacking people while they are praying in a place of worship shows utter contempt for fundamental principles of humanity. There can be no justification for such attacks.

“Those who ordered and planned these abominable crimes must be apprehended and brought to justice.”

Meanwhile this afternoon MPs Jeremy Corbyn and Ann Clwyd tabled a motion in parliament about the assassination earlier this week of renowned journalist Abdulkarim al-Khaiwani. The motion called for a thorough and prompt investigation into the shooting and registered deep concern over the deteriorating situation in Yemen.

The motion raised specific concerns over restrictions on freedom of assembly and press freedom, as well as attacks on peaceful protests and the targeting of civilians by all sides to the conflict.  The MPs also highlighted the fact that the situation is being exploited by al- Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula, who have benefited from the unrest and polarisation in Yemen and have stepped up their activities targeting the Huthis.

The MPs called on the UK Government and international community to live up to commitments made at the 2014 Friends of Yemen conference, and press for respect for human rights, and a political settlement that will halt the deteriorating situation.

 

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