Human rights are ignored in Britain’s covert war in Yemen


How can the Conservative Government do anything other than overlook human rights abuses in countries such as Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, when it seems to be committing such abuses in Yemen?

The UK played a crucial and sustained role [in the US counter-terrorism effort in Yemen, working] with the CIA in finding and fixing targets, assessing the effect of strikes, and training Yemeni intelligence agencies to locate and identify targets for the US drone program.

The US-led covert war in Yemen, now in its 15th year, has killed up to 1,651 people, including up to 261 civilians, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

“The involvement of the British state is something that the government ought to make plain to parliament,” David Davis MP, chair of the UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group on drones, [said].
“If we know we’re handing intelligence over which will be used in a killing then we ought to be confident that it meets our own rules and guidelines. If there are deaths of civilians there’s a moral and legal problem.”

The British … wanted to be involved in American operations to learn about potential threats to the UK

A British official noted that, “once they are seconded, the MoD loses any control over what they get up to.” This allowed the MoD to remain in compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights, while British troops were nonetheless used to assist in the assassination of targets.

British MP Harriet Harman — chair of the UK’s Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights — emphasized the need to clarify the rules for intelligence sharing. “We must look at governance where we hand intelligence to others, such as the US, leading to a strike,” she told an audience at the Royal United Service Institute conference on drones in November 2015. “We are culpable in that process.”

Source: Britain’s Covert War in Yemen: A VICE News Investigation | VICE News

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5 thoughts on “Human rights are ignored in Britain’s covert war in Yemen

  1. Harry

    Afternoon Mike. Very pleased to see this article, as the US/UK are getting a free ride as regards Yemen and they don’t deserve it. I would ask your permission to post two links to better explain this:-


    In the words of one Dr J.M. Goebbels:

    “The lie can be maintained only for such time as the state can shield the people from political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the state to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth becomes the greatest enemy of the state.”

    Dr. Joseph M. Goebbels,

    Ministry of Enlightenment, Third Reich

    Past time for accountability

  2. Florence

    This is the very definition. of an amoral govt. They don’t care at all about Human rights innthe UK or elsewhere. No govt is too corrupt for them to do business with. They have not only torn apart the foundation of our civilised society – the welfare state, – but they have shredded our reputation internationally as a founder and upholder of human rights. We have to get rid of them!

  3. Malcolm MacINTYRE-READ

    And then there is the Con Gov’s unwillingness to question Egypt on the torture and death of Giulio Regeni, an Italian longtime British resident (EU citizen and Brit taxPAYER) and Camb Uni PHD researcher, because of which the Italian Ambassador in Egypt was recalled.

    Could it be because of the Con Gov’s priorities for “care”. 1: Trade over Human Rights, 2: Foreigner, 3: Pleb.

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