11 March 2021, Yemen: The Women Solidarity Network strongly condemn the targeting of African migrants in the holding Center at the Migration and Passport Authority in Sana’a. The overcrowded Center was targeted by Houthis using life bullets and explosive weapons that led to the burning of the Center injuring and killing at least 170 people.

The use of deadly force against civilians is a heinous crime against humanity. It violates international and national laws and considered a grave war that does not have statue of limitation and that is considered as a crime against humanity and a war crime amounting to a genocide crime as per the Rome Statute and International Humanitarian Law.

As per information collected from witnesses, Houthis rounded up illegal African migrants including children from their homes to force them into recruitment as fighters to send them to conflict fronts.  The Houthis allegedly also pressured IOM to provide funding for this operation. The African migrants resorted to a hunger strike and Houthis retaliated to break the strike, escalating violence against migrants and using explosive weapons.

We also condemn the Houthis' denial of access for the IOM to the detention Center and preventing them from providing urgent humanitarian aid and protection to the migrants.

We urge the international organizations including the United Nations to provide protection to the migrants who have been hospitalized. Our sources raised alarms that the Houthis are promising migrants in hospitals the issuance of cards in return for their silence.

We call on the UN Security Council to urgently refer this case to the International Criminal Court to hold Houthi perpetrators of human rights violations and abuses accountable.

We also call for IOM to immediately intervene and relocate migrants to safety.

We send our condolences to the families, we pray for mercy for those who were killed, and we pray for fast recovery of those who are injured.

Issued by the Women Solidarity Network.