A Responsible and Specialized Response to Isolated Appeals

Why Mwatana’s Legal Support Unit?

Thursday, April 25, 2024
A Responsible and Specialized Response to Isolated Appeals

Amid the escalating and widespread violations during the years of conflict in Yemen, characterized by inhumane transgressions committed by various parties and entities, which have intensified persecution against civilians across different regions of Yemen in contravention of all legal and constitutional guarantees, international agreements, treaties, and conventions safeguarding human rights and the dignity of citizens, it has become imperative to address these violations.

All parties to the Yemeni conflict have indiscriminately committed violations since its inception, including arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, torture, and arbitrary denial of minimal procedural justice requirements, marking a high number of human rights violations during the years of war. This issue is one of the most sensitive and complex human rights concerns, particularly given the security and political situation in the country.

With the aim of alleviating these violations against civilian victims and their families, and contributing to preventing the continuation and recurrence of such violations, and to address the absolute or near-absolute impunity that conflict parties have become accustomed to, and in response to the isolated appeals of victims of human rights violations across all Yemeni governorates, as well as the appeals of their families and loved ones, driven by a sense of responsibility and duty, Mwatana for Human Rights took the initiative to establish the Legal Support Unit, striving to contribute to the reduction of violations and directly impact in favor of the victims.

The Legal Support Unit at Mwatana comprises a network of lawyers across 19 out of the 22 Yemeni governorates, offering free legal assistance to victims of enforced disappearance, arbitrary detention, torture, and arbitrary denial of procedural justice requirements committed against individuals by all conflict parties, contravening constitutional and legal guarantees, principles of justice, and human rights.

Mwatana for Human Rights, through its Legal Support Unit, collaborates closely with victims' families, or on their behalf, following meticulous documentation of all information regarding the victims and the circumstances of the violations (such as arbitrary detention or enforced disappearance). This effort is undertaken with informed consent from the victims' families, focusing on ensuring procedural justice for all individuals who find themselves entangled with the law. The objective is to guarantee their full legal rights from the moment of detention through the conditions and legality of their detention, investigative procedures, legal defense, and culminating in trial. Mwatana takes special care to provide legal support to victims from vulnerable and marginalized groups.

In cases where necessary, Mwatana collaborates with specialized legal experts to continually enhance the skills and knowledge of its Legal Support Unit staff, enabling them to address the sensitivity and nature of their tasks effectively. This development ensures their capabilities meet the challenges posed by the evolving situation and violations in Yemen, ultimately benefiting the victims and their families who find in Mwatana a brave and reliable ally.

Mwatana for Human Rights highly values the continuous support by all partners and supporters of Mwatana's projects and initiatives, who contribute to sustaining the provision of legal support to thousands of victims and their families. This support is part of longstanding partnerships, particularly emphasizing the essential and longstanding collaboration between Mwatana for Human Rights and the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by its embassy in Yemen. Without their steadfast and enlightened commitment to human rights values and the importance of providing legal support to victims as a meaningful humanitarian intervention, Mwatana for Human Rights and its brave team would not be able to continue this mission effectively. They have continued to contribute significantly to the release of thousands of civilian victims in various regions of Yemen under extremely dangerous and complex circumstances, amidst numerous attempts of targeting and continuous pressure from violating parties to impede any independent human rights activities aimed at confronting their violations.

Mwatana calls on entities and bodies concerned with human rights to contribute and partner with “Mwatana” in its noble and humanitarian endeavor to reduce violations against civilians in Yemen and to provide greater and more effective support for victims, by contributing to refining and training the Legal Support Unit team.