The Nobel Women's Initiative, a group of Nobel peace laureates, has urged the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen to end the blockade on the Arab world's poorest country, citing the hardships it has caused.
In a statement, the group said the blockade "rendered access to humanitarian assistance impossible for the people of Yemen" and "denies millions of vulnerable and innocent civilians access to food, fuel and medical supplies."
The letter was signed by Mairead Maguire of Northern Ireland, Rigoberta Menchu Tum of Guatemala, Jody Williams of the United States, Shirin Ebadi of Iran, Leymah Gbowee of Liberia, and Tawakkol Karman of Yemen
Here is the text of the statement:
Six Nobel laureates call for end to blockade in Yemen and urge to protect civilians and bring all perpetrators to international justice
Ottawa—23 November 2017
The Nobel Peace Laureates of the Nobel Women’s Initiative call on the Saudi and Emirates-led coalition to immediately reopen all land, air and sea ports of Yemen to humanitarian relief for Yemeni civilians. The ongoing land, sea, and air blockade, and the recent air raid on Sanaa’s airport by the Saudi-led coalition on November 14, have rendered access to humanitarian assistance impossible for the people of Yemen.
This blockade denies millions of vulnerable and innocent civilians access to food, fuel and medical supplies. It further aggravates what the United Nations has called the world’s ‘worst humanitarian crisis’ to date. More than 20 million people need life-saving humanitarian assistance being denied to them through the blockade. Among this number, at least 7 million—mostly women and children—are at high risk of famine. Yemeni people are also at-risk due to a renewed cholera outbreak.
The Nobel Women’s Initiative condemns this collective punishment of the people of Yemen, who already suffer from the severe consequences of a war far beyond their control.
We strongly condemn all human rights violations and crimes perpetrated towards civilians in Yemen, by all parties in the current conflict—including Iran and the Saudi and Emirates-led coalition. The international community, and specifically the UN Security Council, must not turn a blind eye to the large-scale suffering now taking place in Yemen. We call upon the international community to take urgent action to protect civilians, and bring all perpetrators to international justice.
The coup d'état and war in Yemen have deprived the Yemeni people of the right to freedom and decent lives. We express our solidarity with the Yemeni people, and call for the urgent negotiation of a peaceful solution to the current political crisis.
Mairead Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate, (1976) – Northern Ireland,
Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Nobel Peace Laureate (1992) – Guatemala
Jody Williams, Nobel Peace Laureate (1997) – USA,
Shirin Ebadi, Nobel Peace Laureate (2003) – Iran,
Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate (2011) – Liberia,
Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Laureate (2011) – Yemen.