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Britain, US and Turkey asked to investigate UAE 'war crimes' in Yemen

Complaint filed by UK law firm says Emiratis responsible for abuses against civilians in 2015 and 2019
The suspects identified include political and military leaders from the UAE who reside in the emirates and the US but who travel to Britain regularly (AFP)

A British lawfirm on Wednesday filed a request with UK, US and Turkish authorities to arrest senior Emirati officials over suspicions of carrying out war crimes and torture in Yemen.

According to the complaint, the UAE and its proxies were responsible for crimes in 2015 and 2019.

"It is requested that the UK, US and Turkish police open investigations into these alleged crimes as soon as possible," a spokesman for the law firm said.

“The suspects reside in the UAE and the United States, and are not resident in the UK or Turkey. However, they travel to the UK regularly, and will come in the near future.

“It is requested that the police monitor their entry.”

The requests are being made on behalf of two Yemenis who were allegedly targeted because of their allegiance to the Islah political party, which the UAE believes to be a Yemeni affiliate of the Muslim Brotherhood.

One, Abdullah Suliman Abdullah Daubalah, is a journalist who was inside Islah's Aden headquarters when it was bombed in December 2015. The other, Salah Muslem Salam, lost a brother in an alleged assassination.

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The complaints that have been lodged allege not only assassinations, but arbitrary detention and torture in UAE-run prisons in Yemen.

The requests are being made following a 2018 BuzzFeed investigation into the UAE’s activities in Yemen.

The news organisation interviewed a number of people who said they had been involved in a UAE-funded assassination programme in Yemen.

There was no immediate comment from the UAE embassy in London.

The United Arab Emirates is a leading part in the Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Houthis to restore the Yemeni government since 2015. Islah, a Saudi ally, is one of Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi's chief allies on the ground in the fight against the Houthis.

Following the BuzzFeed investigation, Islah members told Middle East Eye the UAE, which backs southern separatists, is only interested in undermining Hadi's government and Yemen's territorial integrity.