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MEE: UK Helped Train Saudi Unit Accused of Whitewashing Yemen War Crimes

2017-01-12 - 10:31 p

Bahrain Mirror: The Middle East Eye website said that the British military "has provided training to a Saudi war crimes investigations unit headed by a Bahraini judge accused of sentencing peaceful protesters to lengthy jail terms, where they were often tortured."

Campaigners say the training, which was detailed in Foreign Office documents released on Monday, "makes the British government complicit in both whitewashing abuses in Bahrain and the failure to properly investigate potential war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen."

The appointment last year of Colonel Mansour al-Mansour, a military lawyer, as a legal adviser to the Saudi-led Joint Incident Assessments Team (JIAT) was heavily criticized by human rights groups at the time, who said the military judge was complicit in torture in the wake of pro-democracy protests in 2011.

Saudi Arabia has repeatedly insisted its bombing campaign in Yemen is being waged "in accordance with international humanitarian law" and that it is "a legitimate war of self defence".

Details of the training were released following a Freedom of Information Act request, which also detailed how British officials attended a JIAT media conference in August led by Mansour. At the event Mansour largely absolved the Saudi-led coalition of responsibility for civilian deaths.

The FCO response also said the British military has not been directly involved in investigations undertaken by the JIAT and that it has not provided any specific operational advice to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for operations in Yemen.

Arabic Version    


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