American Center for Justice (ACJ) Holds a Panel Discussion on Extrajudicial Killing

Monday November 29, 2021- American Center for Justice (ACJ) held an online panel discussion on extrajudicial killing as four experts discussed human rights violations, unfair trials and the implementation of death sentences against political prisoners, journalists, and human rights activists.

The experts who spoke at the panel discussion were Casey Coombs, an independent journalist and researcher at Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, Ibrahim Qatabi, a senior legal worker at Center for Constitutional Rights, and Hannah Porter, a researcher.

The panel discussion was moderated by Hadil al-Mowafak, an activist and consultant at Policy Center.

The panelist Ibrahim Qatabi spoke about using the different state institutions by Houthis to target their opponents and those who don’t agree with their ideology. He also pointed out that there is no independent judicial system whether in the south, under the Yemeni government or in areas under the Houthis control and thus the high level of crimes, including extrajudicial killing, is being witnessed these days.

In turn, Casey Coombs, a researcher at Sana’a Center for Strategic studies, indicated that the execution process of the 9 citizens from al-Hudaydah was purposefully done in the public to send clear messages to both local audience and international actors as they wanted to strike fear and terror and to show Yemenis what the Houthi judiciary is capable of. On the international level, these executions show that the Houthis don’t feel worried by the pressure imposed by the international community or any group asking them to respect human rights.

For her part, Hannah Porter, a researcher, said that the primary response of the international community to any crime committed by any party to the conflict in Yemen is simply a statement of condemnation. Porter added this is not enough and the Houthis simply don’t care. As for putting pressure on the perpetrators or holding them accountable, Porter pointed out that when there are even tools to hold the perpetrators accountable, these tools are being weakened or eliminated. For instance, the Group of Eminent Experts whose reports, investigations and documentation could help bring perpetrators to justice, but their mandate was canceled by the UN Security Council.

The panelists concluded the session, which targeted human rights defenders, decision makers and the public, with stressing the importance of holding the perpetrators of the grave human rights violations that amount to war crimes, including extrajudicial killing, accountable for their crimes and violations and to end the impunity in order to end the conflict and serve justice.   

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.