Arab coalition working to reduce civilian deaths in Yemen — US State Department

US State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speak in the Press Briefing Room at the US Department of State in Washington, DC. (File photo / AFP)
Updated 14 September 2018

Arab coalition working to reduce civilian deaths in Yemen — US State Department

WASHINGTON: The Arab coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen is taking steps to reduce civilian casualties, the US State Department said on Thursday as it defended a certification to Congress by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to avoid limits on US aid to Saudi Arabia.
“They are taking steps, in the view of the US government and this administration, in the right direction,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told a briefing. “We see them taking steps...Do we see them doing what they can to mitigate civilian casualties? Absolutely we do,” she added.
Her comments came a day after Pompeo told Congress that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were working to reduce civilian casualties.
Pompeo said in a statement that he told Congress that the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE were taking concrete steps to reduce the risk of harming civilians and civilian infrastructure due to the operations of the Yemeni Legitimacy Alliance.
US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis confirmed that he fully supported and approved Pompeo’s certification, adding that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are making every effort to reduce the risk of civilian casualties and collateral damage.
Mattis also said the United States is working with the UN special envoy to achieve a negotiated end to the fighting.

Human rights officials visit 2,094 Saudi prisons

Updated 08 July 2020

Human rights officials visit 2,094 Saudi prisons

JEDDAH: Saudi Human Rights Commission (HRC) representatives made 2,094 visits to prisons and detention centers throughout the Kingdom in one year, according to a report by the organization.

HRC spokesperson, Norah Al-Haqbani, said that the aim of the visits was to ensure that convicts and detainees were being afforded their rights under Saudi laws and regulations.

The commission’s visits included 835 to detention centers, 614 to general prisons, 557 to security facilities, 49 to social observation centers, and 39 to care institutions for girls.

Al-Haqbani pointed out that huge progress had been made due to the ongoing replacement of paperwork by electronic processing, increased collaboration between authorities and agencies, and the introduction of new mechanisms to speed up procedures.

She noted the need for the swift completion of construction work on buildings to house categories of convicts and detainees requiring specific facilities.

The HRC carried out 414 visits to other government agencies in various regions of the Kingdom to detect violations of convicts and detainees’ rights, taking appropriate regulatory measures, Al-Haqbani said.

She added: “Visits were made to various institutions including 259 to shelters and social institutions, 117 to hospitals and health care centers, 20 to educational institutions, in addition to visits to other institutions.”