LONDON (Al Jazeera) – Human rights lawyers have filed a complaint with British police accusing senior government figures in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of complicity in war crimes in Yemen.
The London-based Guernica 37 legal team submitted their dossier to the capital’s Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) on Wednesday.
Toby Cadman, the barrister leading the complaint, said 22 high-ranking Saudi and Emirati political and military officials are alleged to have been involved in crimes against humanity.
The dossier calls for the individuals to be immediately arrested should they enter the UK, a close political ally of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.
The lawyers have not released the list of names.
“We are talking about the most heinous crimes and we don’t believe there is any immunity from them,” Cadman told UK newspaper The Guardian.
Guernica 37 is focusing on three events including a 2018 air attack on a school bus in northern Yemen, which killed at least 26 children, and a 2016 aerial bombing of a funeral in the capital, Sana’a, that killed140 people.
The other concerns the alleged torture and murder of civilians in Aden, a strategically important port city in southern Yemen, by Colombian mercenaries under the command of a U.S. private military company contracted to the UAE.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the devastating war against the poorest Middle Eastern country to reinstall former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh, and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement.
The war, accompanied by a tight siege, has failed to reach its goals, but it has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people and put millions more at risk of starvation by destroying much of the country’s infrastructure.
The UN has long considered Yemen as home to the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The country on the Arabian Peninsula faces the combined troubles of protracted conflict, economic devastation, and crumbling social and health services, as well as underfunded UN assistance programs.