10 Years of Work and Hope

What makes our work extraordinary

Over the past ten years, we have been working tirelessly in the field across various regions of Yemen. Our work has involved preparing reports, studies, data, videos, blogs, and advocacy campaigns to amplify the voices of victims and shed light on their suffering. We have exposed perpetrators of violations, adhering to strict methodology and presenting accurate conclusions in our reports, studies, data, and products. Despite our efforts to reduce violations, redress the victims, and hold those responsible accountable, the violating parties have failed to acknowledge the facts we presented. Rather than using the opportunity to reflect on their harmful practices towards people and to at least cease further involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity, these parties have initiated hundreds of smear campaigns. They have employed extensive resources, including satellite channels, newspapers, journalists, writers, activists, websites, and electronic armies on social networks, to defame our efforts. These hate platforms have disseminated a vast amount of misleading information, fabrications, and accusations against Mwatana, its senior management, its team, and its actions. Their goal is to terrorize and defame Mwatana and silence its voice. Additionally, Mwatana’s team members have been subjected to enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, assault, intimidation, and other forms of harm. Despite these challenges, Mwatana has continued to devote most of its energy to fulfilling its responsibilities and tasks, which include documenting and exposing violations and their perpetrators, supporting victims to achieve justice and reparation, and holding those who commited violations accountable. Furthermore, Mwatana has intensified its advocacy efforts to pressure all actors to fulfill their responsibilities regarding the horrific violations taking place in Yemen. As we commemorate ten years since Mwatana was registered and began its institutional work, we are taking the initiative to reflect on our journey. For the first time, we are sharing abstracts about various aspects of our work with the public and those interested. We have been operating amidst a devastating conflict that has impacted the public sphere in Yemen since it began. Over the past eight years, we have faced the pressure of sharp polarization by the various parties involved in the conflict. Despite the power and ferocity of the parties involved in the conflict, our team operating across various regions of Yemen has managed to create an effective space for presenting the voices of civilian victims and their suffering. Our team presents this information accurately, objectively, rigorously, and competently. This has been achieved through concerted, collective, participatory, and creative efforts. Despite their efforts, dedication, perseverance, sincerity, and passion for advocating human rights issues in Yemen, the Mwatana team working in the midst of war and suffering across different regions of Yemen has been subjected to various types of defamation, targeting, and systematic harm. This is despite the recognition, trust, appreciation, consideration, influence, and honor they have earned at local and international levels. As we celebrate our first decade, we offer a brief account of our journey. This biography reflects the experience of a public benefit institution that was founded and developed by young Yemeni men and women. Their diligent efforts led to the creation of an organization that operates in accordance with the highest international standards, within a framework of institutional building that adheres to principles of governance, good management, transparency, integrity, and accountability. While we recognize that our accomplishments over the course of this journey are significant, we acknowledge that they represent only a fraction of what is owed to the Yemeni victims. Our aspiration is to continue to contribute to achieving a society where every human being enjoys their rights and justice, a long road ahead of us. We take great pride in what we have accomplished during Mwatana’s institutional life, while also acknowledging that every human effort is subject to shortcomings and errors. We recognize that the development of our work over the past years, in all its aspects, was influenced by various factors. Additionally, we have received valid observations and criticisms, which we have carefully studied, analyzed, and incorporated into our work. Based on the positive impact that strengthening our work with this approach has achieved, we have prepared our institutional system – at the structural and individual level – to always be ready to receive observations and criticisms with gratitude and openness. We study, analyze, and absorb what is useful from them. In addition to adopting a participatory approach to our work, we have designed internal mechanisms for monitoring, evaluation, and learning, as well as for complaints, reporting, and suggestions. We are pleased to present this special file, which highlights the results of our efforts over the first ten years of Mwatana’s institutional life. We present it first to civilian victims, their families, witnesses, and whistleblowers, who have honored us with their trust in Mwatana. Our activities, operations, and programs aim to serve their causes, represent their suffering and voices, and are backed by a renewed promise and commitment to continue the struggle with them tirelessly until all victims are redressed and all violators are held accountable, without exception. Secondly, we present this briefing to the employees of Mwatana from its first steps until today, including those who have made their mark and moved on to other experiences, as well as those who are still working within Mwatana in various units and departments. Thirdly, we present it to the civilian men and women in various regions of Yemen who have resisted the traps of war and maintained their independence, civility, and integrity of their consciences and minds amidst the chaos and pollutants of belligerents. Finally, we also present it to all allies, partners, and supporters of Mwatana and its human rights message, including those who believe in the universality and unwavering nature of human rights values without exception, whether entities or individuals inside Yemen or in different parts of the world. Radiyah Al-Mutawakel Abdulrasheed Al-Faqih Founders of Mwatana for Human Rights