Over the past months, particularly since the announcement of the formation of the Presidential Leadership Council on April 7, 2022 and despite all reservations about the constitutionality and legality of that step, The situation in Yemen and the effects of the step of forming the Council on it remained a subject of anticipation for observers and those interested, from a multiple angles, Especially after the council's announcement immediately was accompanied by loud propaganda and publicity , which included generous promises and certain signs of a new phase promising achievements and change in various aspects.
In this discussion, I will examine one aspect of those angles, particularly the impact of this step on the situation of human rights and the rule of law, in the areas under the responsibility of the Presidential Council backed by the coalition, led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
Over a months of daily field follow-up of the situation of human rights and the rule of law in various regions under the new council control. However, in the end, a big disappointment accumulated, not only from the deteriorating human rights situation, but also from the fact that situation remained guarded even from any trace indicating the honor of the attempt.
Furthermore, the military and security formations, with multiple denominations, loyalties, and slogans, continued to control various regions, practising actual power over hundreds of thousands of citizens, and manage various facilities and institutions, in isolation from legal texts and principles, while the law enforcement institutions are still a mere fantasy and mute , unable to move even a finger, whether in Aden which declared as the temporary capital of the internationally recognized government or in the rest of the areas which are just nominally under its authority.
In a wide geographical range, which includes population gatherings in a number of cities, villages, and regions, which are governed and ruled by armed formations with multiple loyalties and non-compliance even with the minimum of the applicable laws, and which only believe in their indiscriminate dealings, without any reference materials, with people's affairs, which is a fertile field for a multiple violations that affect a large number of citizens, both men and women, without supervision or accountability.
In order to scrutinize the situation of human rights and the status of the rule of law in those areas, under the authority of the Presidential Council, which is the heir to Hadi's authority - A number of questions can be asked, such as: How many places of detention are outside the authority of the public prosecution office in each region? How many extrajudicial detainees? How many illegal places of detention have been closed? How many forcibly disappeared or extrajudicially detained persons have been released? What is the extent of the actual authority of the public prosecution and judiciary over the various security institutions and their affiliated facilities? Who has the power of detention? and on what basis? Who has the power to release? Why all the various authorities in the different governorates reject the directions of the public prosecutor in Aden and judicial orders to release arbitrarily detained and forcibly disappeared persons?
Since the announcement of the establishment of the Council, the news about it continued flowing on an almost daily basis, However, the contents of this news do not go beyond the limits of propaganda and public relations campaigns. It is an effort that would be understandable in its context if Yemen were on its way to an electoral race, and not a country that is entering its eighth year of a complex war that has undermined its institutions and entity. Nevertheless with a few serious efforts, it is possible to make a big difference for the benefit of a large category of its citizens, for both men and women.
So what is certain and obvious is that the working to revive law enforcement authorities, including police departments, security agencies, prosecution offices, and the judiciary, as bodies that are supposed to be independent, impartial, and neutral, does not require more than the awakening of the consciences of the council’s helmsmen, its formations and their minds, to have the honor of creating a positive impact for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of citizens, accompanied by positive effects on the various aspects of life in those regions and areas. These effects deserve, to be achieved , to set aside all political clarifications, in a path that does not preclude the achievement of transformations whose impact will be touched by hundreds of thousands of citizens, both men and women.
Therefore to stop making excuses to justify the successive failures of what the leaderships of the various parties within the framework of the Council and other parties need to realize and assimilate, whether they were in alliance or disagreement, and also as a team or individually - is to work in paths that meet the requirements of people's lives, and to achieve success in all various aspects of those paths, Although it is an inherent duty among their duties. It is not only a way to gain legitimacy and recognition, but ,before and after that, is the only way to gain respect and consideration from opponents before allies and supporters in a way that all forms of force, compulsion and support are unable to bring.
On Thursday, February 2, in his meeting with the president and members of the Supreme Judicial Council in Aden, the president of the Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, affirmed his government's commitment to the independence of the judiciary and strengthening its role in protecting rights and freedoms, achieving justice and enforcing the rule of law, which are just a creative contents that should not to remain just routine discourses, as people are thirsty to touch them as practical steps and procedures that are complied with on the ground by police departments, security services, armed formations of various denominations, and checkpoint elements on the roads, at city entrances, at land outlets, airports, and in any institution or facility or any new formation that has actual authority over people in any region. As It is the responsibility of the President of the Presidential Leadership Council and the rest of the members to translate those contents into practical measures and steps.
In order to do these steps successfully, The Leadership Council and its president must begin without any delay a comprehensive assessment of the situation of human rights and the state of the rule of law in Aden, Al-Dhalea, Abyan, Shabwa, Ma’rib, Lahj, Taiz, Hadramout, Al-Mahra and all areas under its control as well as taking the initiative to design effective mechanisms to receive complaints and reports from the agencies and individuals regarding the forcibly disappeared and arbitrarily detained, to immediately end these violations.
Responsibility for achieving a tangible steps in this path does not stop with the president of the council, its members and their formations as Yemeni parties. But in fact, both Saudi Arabia and the UAE share this responsibility with the influence they have over the local parties, as far as their influence and power on the local parties and the situation in Yemen since the announcement of their direct military intervention, they bear responsibility for the course of events and for what the situation has become in the various aspects. Therefore the actual proof of the seriousness of their intentions, which they have been repeating for months to stop the war, is represented in playing positive roles that contribute to presenting a different model by activating law enforcement institutions and addressing the structural distortions which keep the various regions subject to uncontrolled armed formations that do not comply with the law.
Unless local, regional and international efforts are combined to address the distortions that have accumulated as a result of the war, and to take the initiative to end the widespread grievances and take all chances to accomplish that transformation in favor of the state of citizenship and the rule of law and justice, the situation will remain likely to explode once the temporary relief is gone, which saturated with the illusion of control over the situation, its paths and the limits of its extent. At that time, its effects will not stop at the imaginary borders, but it will go beyond them to affect all local, regional and international actors.