The U.N. Human Rights Council is seen in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 24, 2021. CPJ called on the council to renew its investigatory group on human rights abuses in Yemen. (Reuters/Denis Balibouse)

CPJ calls on UN to renew Yemen human rights investigatory body

New York, October 6, 2021 – The United Nations Human Rights Council should renew the mandate of the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen and support the group’s work investigating human rights abuses in the country, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

“The U.N.’s Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen has played a critical role in highlighting press freedom and other human rights violations in the country, and has provided one of the few roadmaps to accountability in a conflict where impunity has ruled the day,” said CPJ Senior Middle East and North Africa Researcher Justin Shilad. “U.N. Human Rights Council member states must renew the group’s mandate and support its work by condemning attacks against journalists in Yemen by all sides.”

The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights established the body in September 2017 to investigate and document human rights violations in Yemen, and its mandate has been renewed each year; its next renewal vote is scheduled for tomorrow, according to Reuters. That Reuters report, along with local human rights organizations, have noted that groups affiliated with the Saudi Arabian government have lobbied against the group’s renewal.

In its most recent report, the Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen documented ongoing violations of press freedom and attacks and arbitrary detentions of journalists, calling for all sides to end such attacks. That report also recommended that the U.N. Security Council refer violations in Yemen to the International Criminal Court and expand sanctions against offenders.