Bahraini human rights activist speaking

This video, recorded in Italy, says about itself:

When I saw courage: Maryam Al Khawaja at TEDxLecce

2 February 2014

By Maryam Al Khawaja from Bahrain, in the Providence Journal in Rhode Island state in the USA:

Maryam Al Khawaja: Fighting my country’s rights abuses

Aug. 24, 2015 at 2:01 AM

Last September, I was sitting in a Bahraini jail. I had been arrested for my advocacy of human rights, which, over the past seven years, has led me to the halls of Congress, the United Nations and around the world in an effort to publicize the abuses committed by the Bahraini government and other repressive regimes in the region.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., is one of the few U.S. leaders who wrote to the Bahraini government urging it to drop all the charges against me and to let me leave the country.

The government of Bahrain treats human rights defenders as criminals. In an attempt to silence the peaceful movement for democratic reform, the authorities harshly punish those of us who work to advance liberty, democracy and free expression with lengthy prison sentences and no due process. I was eventually released, but sentenced in absentia to a year in prison. I have been effectively exiled from my home. If I ever go back to Bahrain I could be sent straight to jail the moment I step foot off of the plane.

When Senator Whitehouse stood in my defense, it was an important statement of support and encouragement. I’d taught at Brown University in 2010 and still have close connections with the school. Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., has also condemned government violence in Bahrain and has been outspoken about the need to protect peaceful protesters.

But there are many others in the U.S. government who simply don’t understand the situation in Bahrain. They focus mainly on Bahrain as a military ally, host of the U.S. Fifth Fleet, an ally against Iranian aggression, and falsely conclude that it is better for U.S. interests to avoid criticizing the regime for its awful human rights record. In June, the State Department decided to lift the ban on arms sales to Bahrain’s military that it had imposed in 2011, citing “meaningful progress on human rights reforms” that remain unseen. Reforms promised by the Bahraini government have yet to materialize, the jails are full of political prisoners and reports of torture in custody are rampant.

Bahrain, the smallest country in Middle East, had the largest pro-democracy demonstrations of all the Arab countries in early 2011. However, while Egypt removed its dictator, President Hosni Mubarak, and Tunisia managed to achieve a fledgling democracy, the Bahraini regime violently suppressed peaceful calls for change and continues to do so.

Human Rights First and other U.S.-based organizations have been documenting abuses by the Bahraini regime for several years. In a country ruled by a family where the king’s uncle has served as the un-elected prime minister for 43 years, the State Department is clearly wrong to claim there has been meaningful progress, and Congress is right to challenge the lifting of the ban.

Last week Senators Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., introduced legislation to ban the sale of tear gas, small weapons, ammunition, Humvees and other things that might be used against protesters until all the recommendations on reform made to the Bahraini government by international lawyers at the end of 2011 are fully implemented.

This is a smart move and an important opportunity for Senators Whitehouse and Reed to engage on a larger scale on human rights issues in Bahrain. By signing onto the bill, S.2009, they can help to persuade the government of Bahrain to reform, while showing that the United States won’t reward human rights abuses with weapons. Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., has said he will introduce similar legislation in the House of Representatives, which also gives Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, both Rhode Island Democrats, the chance to support this ban.

I know from my time in jail, and from years of documenting unfair trials, arbitrary arrests and torture in Bahrain, that the regime needs more than gentle encouragement to reform. There must be consequences for its criminal behavior, and Rhode Island’s members of Congress now have the chance to do something about it. I hope they will do the right thing and continue to stand up for Bahrainis’ achieving their rights.

Maryam Al Khawaja, a former Brown University teaching assistant, is co-director of the Gulf Center for Human Rights and a Bahraini human rights defender.

Macedonian soldiers shoot refugees

This video says about itself:

Refugees hit by train: Mostly from Afghanistan and Somalia, killed by train in Macedonia

24 April 2015

Fourteen migrants were killed on Thursday after being hit by a train in Macedonia, as they were walking along the tracks on their way to Western Europe.

The migrants were part of a group of 50, most of them from Somalia and Afghanistan, and were passing through Pcinja district on Thursday night.

Local media reported that the migrants were walking along the train tracks when an international train travelling from the Macedonian town of Gevgelija to Belgrade was also crossing the same area.

The driver attempted to stop the train and sounded its horn when he saw the migrants on the tracks. Most of the group evaded the train but 14 died after being hit.

An increasing number of migrants from the Middle East and Africa now opt to cross the Balkans to reach Western Europe. It is believed that more than 1,700 migrants travelling across the Mediterranean have died so far in 2015.

After Turkish soldiers shot refugees from the war in Syria, now it looks like more to the west, this inhuman example is followed against refugees from the Syrian and other wars.

By Bill Van Auken:

Troops fire on refugees trying to enter Macedonia

22 August 2015

Macedonian soldiers and police opened fire Friday on thousands of refugees crowded at a border crossing, leaving several people wounded. The violence came one day after the government in Skopje declared a state of emergency and rushed troops to the country’s border with Greece to stem the flow of refugees seeking to cross the Balkans into northern Europe.

After sealing the border with razor wire, the Macedonian security forces, backed by armored vehicles, fired tear gas, stun grenades and plastic bullets into the crowd, which included many women and children. Police using batons and shields beat a number of the refugees.

Unrest among the refugees increased after Macedonian authorities announced that they would allow “a limited number of illegal migrants in vulnerable categories” to cross the border and let in a few hundred refugees, consisting largely of families with children and pregnant women.

The move intensified demands from the rest of the refugees, who have been trapped in a no-man’s-land along the border, sleeping outside in the cold and damp, without food or shelter.

Macedonian Interior Ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevsky defended the vicious assault on the defenseless refugees, declaring that the troops and police were “standing on our territory and defending the border.” The aim, he added, was to “reduce illegal border entry to a minimum.”

The Macedonian government, the spokesman said, was treating the refugees “according to our capacity,” adding that the European Union must do more to assist with what is a “global problem.”

The hardline policy against refugees adopted by the rightwing government of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is widely seen as an attempt to create a diversion from the growing popular uproar over a massive wiretapping scandal and endemic corruption, in advance of an upcoming election.

The violence against the refugees drew condemnation from human rights groups, which charged that the actions of Macedonia were in violation of international law.

“The Macedonian authorities are responding as if they were dealing with rioters rather than refugees who have fled conflict and persecution,” said Amnesty International’s Europe deputy director Gauri van Gulik.

“All countries have a duty to protect those fleeing conflict and persecution, and Macedonia is no exception,” van Gulik added. “When the system cannot cope, you improve the system, you don’t just stop people from coming in.”

The United Nations agency for refugees issued a statement declaring that it “is particularly worried about the thousands of vulnerable refugees and migrants, especially women and children, now massed on the Greek side of the border amid deteriorating conditions.”

Many of the refugees are fleeing the death and destruction caused by imperialist interventions in the Middle East. Of the 42,000 refugees registered as traveling through Macedonia over the past month—double the number of the month before—more than half were from Syria, where the Western-backed war for regime change has driven some four million people out of the country.

Outside the Macedonian border crossing, several people held up signs reading, “Help us, Syria.”

“We are very angry because the police had told us they would let us through today. We are not animals,” Jad, a 25-year-old Syrian, told AFP.

Jacob, also Syrian, told the news agency, “We are hunted in Syria because we are Christian. They wanted to kill us. Why won’t they let us through here?” he asked.

Macedonia is only the latest flashpoint in the campaign of repressive measures being unleashed against refugees across Europe. …

Hungary, the EU country bordering the Balkans, has begun building a four-meter-high fence to block refugees from entering from Serbia. Britain, meanwhile, has beefed up security at the French port of Calais to block refugees trying to cross from France.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande are set to meet in Berlin on Monday for a discussion on the refugee issue. In preparation for the meeting, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and his French counterpart Bernard Cazeneuve held a news conference on Thursday in Berlin calling for a stepped-up and coordinated response to the rising flow of refugees.

“It’s unacceptable for European institutions to continue working at the pace they are currently operating at,” said de Maiziere. He said that he and the French interior minister had agreed that the EU should assist Italy and Greece in setting up “waiting areas” for imprisoning refugees. He also called upon the EU Commission to pressure countries bordering the EU to take back refugees denied asylum and expelled from EU countries.

A spokeswoman for the European Commission responded to Maiziere’s criticism by telling reporters in Brussels that the problem was not with the EU, but rather with its member governments, which have failed to support existing plans for dealing with the issue.

“The proposals are all on the table,” said the spokeswoman, Annika Breidthardt. “It’s time that member states adopted them.”

“We can only succeed if we work together on this, not against each other,” she added.

With the drive to create a “fortress Europe” to keep the refugees out, the national conflicts between the various European powers are intensifying, with increasingly bitter recriminations over differing refugee policies as well as over the number of refugees being accepted by each country.

Within this context, rightwing and neofascist elements are waging an increasingly violent campaign against refugees and immigrants, while leading bourgeois politicians in a number of countries are calling for the scrapping of the Schengen Agreement, which allows visa-free travel across the EU.

British Blairites attack left Labourite voting rights

This video from Britain says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn: The Labour Party should apologise for the Iraq war

21 August 2015

Lindsey German is national convenor of the Stop the War Coalition. She was interviewed on Channel 4 News about the proposal by Jeremy Corbyn that the Labour party apologise for the Iraq war. Jeremy Corbyn is a candidate for the Labour leadership.

Tony Blair took the UK into the illegal Iraq war in 2003 by lying to parliament and the British public. Jeremy Corbyn voted against the war that killed up to a million Iraqis and devastated the country, creating the conditions under which the brutal ISIS extremists have grown into a force controlling much of Iraq today.

In the United States of America, voting rights of African Americans and others are under attack by Republican politicians, subverting democratic elections.

In Britain, the Tony Blair-ite establishment is attacking the voting rights of Labour party members and paid up supporters, in order to subvert the democratic process of electing a party leader, as they fear left winger Jeremy Corbyn might win a fair election.

By Joana Ramiro in Britain:

Labour voters culled

Friday 21st August 2015

Party members furious as they get caught up in witch hunt for ‘entryists

ANGRY Labour backers accused the party of instigating a “purge” yesterday after hundreds of members received emails barring them from voting in the leadership election — including one of the party’s own council candidates.

Robert Sharpe, a two-time Labour candidate for Salford Council’s Walkden South seat, was caught up in yesterday’s mass expulsions and slammed the party’s “shambolic” response to entryism scare stories.

He said: “It’s been a bit of a shambles. I voted last night and this morning I had an email saying: ‘We cancelled your membership, we rejected your application to be a member.’

“My membership got renewed about a month ago. It’s renewed every year. So I called the party and they said ‘We cancelled your membership and you’re not eligible to be a supporter.’ I said I’ve been a council candidate for the last few years, I’ve been a member for five years.’

“My MP has called to say the party has realised their mistake. They confused me with another Robert Sharpe, and they will ring me to apologise.”

Many took to social media to express their anger and disappointment at being barred from the election process.

Young member Jack Chadwick told the Star how less than 24 hours after voting for Jeremy Corbyn he was amazed to receive an email rejecting his “membership application.”

Mr Chadwick, who joined the party in 2011, said he rang the membership office requesting information on his exclusion but no-one was able to help.

He added: “I’m a supporter of Jeremy Corbyn and I’ve made my support for him known on social media.

“I’ve also, in the past, criticised the direction of the Labour Party under its recent leadership.

“I’m getting the impression that they’re not being at all thorough with their checks. At this point it almost sounds like they’re just throwing out whoever’s flagged as supporting Corbyn, even if they have no legitimate reason to.”

The Labour Party has repeatedly argued that it wants “the widest number of supporters to have their say in Labour’s leadership contest,” but that it is scrupulously sifting through new applicants.

Those receiving rejection emails have been told that the party had reason to believe they did not support Labour’s “aims and values.”

Many were vetoed retroactively after they had cast their vote, raising concerns of “McCarthyite” style purges of the party’s left wing — in particular Corbyn voters.

Claims of far-left “entryism” have been instigated by the right-wing media since Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership bid took up.

Comedian and writer Pete Sinclair, who was banned after receiving his ballot papers, said he had first backed Labour in 1979 and continued to “vote Labour solidly until Tony Blair’s invasion of Iraq, which I couldn’t possibly support.”

But at the last elections he made it public knowledge he would be voting for the Green Party in the safe Labour seat of Greenwich, London.

“I passionately wanted Labour to beat the Tories” he argued, adding that his vote was cast “in order to show Labour that there were supporters to the left that needed to be won back to the party.

“The clincher is that I actually donated to the election campaign — £20.

“The same guy, Iain McNicol, whose name was on the email thanking me for my donation, telling me that I was a valued party supporter, is also on the email saying I am not allowed to vote.

“I would like to ask them if Tony Blair is getting a vote?

“Is being paid to advise the dictator of Kazakhstan consistent with the aims and values of the Labour Party?”

Jack Chadwick
Member since 2011
I’m getting the impression that they’re not being at all thorough with their checks. At this point it almost sounds like they’re just throwing out whoever’s flagged as supporting Corbyn.

Robert Sharpe
Member since 2010
I called the party and they said: ‘We cancelled your membership and you’re not eligible to be a supporter.’ I said I’ve been a council candidate for the last few years, I’ve been a member for five.

Stop the Labour Purge: here.

This video from England says about itself:

Jeremy Corbyn speaking at biggest protest in UK history against Iraq war

On 15 February 2003, two million people on the streets of London, in the biggest protest ever in UK history, said not in our name to the Iraq war. Jeremy Corbyn gave this speech to the huge rally in Hyde Park.

By Conrad Landin in Britain:

Gavel coup

Saturday 22nd August 2015

Is Labour right using member row to clear way for legal attack?

LABOUR rightwingers warning of a possible court challenge to the leadership vote are fuelling the row over party membership because Jeremy Corbyn “is setting the political agenda,” his campaign team said last night.

Andy Burnham’s campaign manager Michael Dugher suggested yesterday that the outcome of Labour’s leadership election could be subject to “legal challenge” due to the party’s inability to properly investigate newly registered voters.

His intervention came as Blairite candidate Liz Kendall denied an allegation that her campaign had gathered information to assist the “purge” of party members.

Hundreds of new members and supporters of the party have been excluded from the leadership vote on the basis that their values are “not consistent with the aims and values of the Labour party.”

Some have accused Labour of a “purge” of leftwingers in order to prevent frontrunner Mr Corbyn from winning the election.

In a letter to Labour general secretary Iain McNicol, Mr Dugher said the party was “allowing the issue to drift, and potentially leaving insufficient time to act.”

He called for an urgent meeting to discuss the potential for “several thousand” Conservative supporters to be lurking in Labour’s ranks.

“We are also concerned that given the party’s limited resources and the effort required to investigate applicants, this could result in the integrity of the contest being called into question, and the outcome subject to legal challenge,” he said.

Yesterday the Morning Star revealed that members of many years standing as well as new supporters had been excluded.

Mr Corbyn’s camp said Mr Dugher’s “internally-faced intervention” was “an attempt to distract the leadership election onto ‘process’ rather than real political issues, such as Jeremy Corbyn’s commitment to apologise for Labour’s role in the Iraq war.

“The purely internal procedural obsession falls short of the outward debate the party needs,” a spokesman said.

“Whilst some issues have been raised, we do have confidence in management of the process by elected members of Labour’s NEC and the general secretary.”

An official for Ms Kendall’s campaign told the Star: “We’ve not called for there to be any halt or delay to the process and Liz continues to believe that expanding the party’s membership is a good thing.”

The representative denied allegations that campaigners working on Ms Kendall’s leadership bid had been investigating the credentials of new supporters.

He said the campaign would not have the means to access new membership data “even if this was something we wanted to do, which we don’t.”

A source has alleged to the Star however that an assistant to Kendall-supporting MP Barry Sheerman carried out research into new members. They were said to have done so on behalf of Ms Kendall’s team, but during office hours.

Reports have revealed the extraordinary efforts by sections of the Labour Party to stop veteran “left” MP Jeremy Corbyn from winning the contest for party leader. … This has been sickeningly designated as “Operation: Icepick,” in reference to the assassination of Leon Trotsky: here.

Wars, refugees and xenophobia

This video says about itself:

Libyan refugees rejected by Italy set up camp in Hamburg – FOCUS – 06/12/2013

When the Libyan war broke out two years ago, thousands fled the country in search of security and employment. Many made their way to the island of Lampedusa in Italy, but the Italian authorities closed reception facilities, and gave the migrants a few hundred euros to leave. Now hundreds of Africans from Togo, Ghana and the Ivory Coast have set up camp in Hamburg. Our correspondents spoke to some who have taken up quarters in a church.

By Robert Stevens:

Capitalism and the global refugee crisis

21 August 2015

According to the United Nations, there are more refugees in the world today than at any point in recorded human history.

At the end of 2014, almost 60 million people were forcibly displaced. This is nearly three times the number recorded just a decade earlier. On a global scale, one out of every 122 people is now either a refugee, internally displaced or seeking asylum. A majority (51 percent) of the planet’s refugees are below the age of 18.

Millions have been made homeless and thrown into grinding poverty as a result of imperialist-backed wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya. The world’s largest refugee crisis is centred on Syria, where the number of those fleeing to other countries has now exceeded four million. Those who are able to do so seek refuge in Europe. That often involves a perilous trip across the Mediterranean, a journey that has taken the lives of thousands of men, women and children.

Only this week, the bodies of 49 migrants were discovered inside the hold of a fishing boat, having died of fume inhalation. This adds to the total of more than 2,300 who have perished at sea so far this year.

Frontex, the European Union’s border agency, has reported that 107,500 migrants were detected at its frontiers last month. This is three times as many as in July 2014.

Thousands of refugees and asylum seekers, the vast majority fleeing the war zones of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq, attempt to reach Europe via its southern states of Greece, Italy and Spain. Since January, a total of 160,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in the various Greek islands, with more than 20,000 arriving in the last week alone. More than 100,000 have been rescued and brought to Italy this year.

This is only a small portion of those attempting to escape horrific conditions at home. Millions of refugees from Syria, for example, survive in massive city-sized refugee camps in Jordan and Turkey. The refugees who attempt the trip to Europe are those who have managed to scrape together enough money to pay one of the people traffickers operating the boats.

This relatively small percentage of the world’s refugees is treated as an existential threat by Europe’s ruling elite. Refugees and migrants are routinely denounced and cast as criminals, responsible for all of society’s ills, by governments and political parties of all stripes.

Speaking of just 5,000 migrants who live in appalling conditions at the port of Calais, UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said, “Europe can’t protect itself and preserve its standard of living and social infrastructure, if it has to absorb millions of migrants from Africa.”

This week German Chancellor Angel Merkel warned in a TV interview that the arrival of thousands of refugees to the shores of the continent would “preoccupy Europe much, much more than the issue of Greece and the stability of the euro.”

The right-wing bile emanating from official circles is echoed and magnified in an outpouring of increasingly overt xenophobic hatred hurled at refugees and asylum seekers by a hysterical media. Right-wing and fascist bands, encouraged by this putrid atmosphere, have stepped up attacks on refugees and asylum seekers. In Germany, for example, more than 200 incidents, including arson attacks on migrants’ homes, have been reported this year.

Muslims in particular face the full force of this venom. This week the government of Slovakia, which is to receive just 200 Syrian refugees as part of an EU relocation scheme, said it would only accept Christians.

What is being cast as a “migrant problem” is in fact a problem of imperialist rule and of the capitalist system. There are two root causes of the massive refugee crisis.

The first is the growing number of predatory wars being conducted by the imperialist powers and their proxies. Indeed, the United States, backed by its allies, has now been involved in perpetual war since 1991 that has displaced entire populations and destroyed entire societies.

The second major factor is the control and economic destruction of the planet by the major capitalist states that has plunged billions of people into abject poverty.

The European powers seek to insulate themselves from the results of the carnage they have wrought through the creation of a “Fortress Europe”. At its June emergency summit on refugees, the EU washed its hands in the face of growing public revulsion at the deaths of thousands in the Mediterranean. They refused to set any quotas for countries to take in the increasing numbers of desperate refugees, agreeing to relocate just 40,000 refugees already in Italy and Greece.

Instead, all efforts are concentrated on strengthening border controls. Hungary’s southern border marks the edge of the EU’s Schengen Zone of passport-free travel. The right-wing government there is building a massive fence along its 109-mile border with Serbia. This week a prime ministerial spokesman said that the fence would be “defended” by thousands of police against “increasingly aggressive” migrants.

New metres-high fortified border fences, miles in length, have been built and strengthened by Greece, Bulgaria, Spain, the UK at the Channel Tunnel port of Calais, and by other countries.

Under conditions in which the global economy is more closely interconnected and more complex than ever before in history, the capitalist system, based on the outmoded division of the planet into antagonistic nation states and private ownership of the means of production, is creating hell on earth.

In the founding programme of the Fourth International, the great revolutionary Leon Trotsky wrote on the eve of the Second World War, “Before exhausting or drowning mankind in blood, capitalism befouls the world atmosphere with the poisonous vapours of national and race hatred.”

These words are as apt today as they were then.

As with all the great problems facing humanity, the only rational solution that can prevent tens and hundreds of millions more becoming refugees is the unification of working people internationally in the struggle for a socialist reorganization of economic life. Socialism, a society based on fulfilling human need, not profit, would rationally use and develop the earth’s abundant resources to provide a life worth living for everyone.

In pursuance of this goal and with all its collective strength, the working class must unswervingly defend the democratic rights of refugees and migrants to asylum and their right to live wherever they wish.

Saudi royal air force keeps killing Yemeni children

This video says about itself:

Yemen: Injured children arrive in hospital amid Saudi-led carnage

26 March 2015

Patients including young children at Al mo’ayed hospital in Sana’a were forced to share hospital beds or lie on the floor after a Saudi-led air attack struck the Yemeni capital on Thursday morning. The death toll from the strikes remains unconfirmed but estimates put the figure at between 13-25 civilians dead, with at least 40 more wounded.

By Niles Williamson:

Yemen faces humanitarian crisis as US-backed assault continues

20 August 2015

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported on Tuesday that nearly 8 children have been killed or wounded every day in the course of the air assault on Yemen spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, which began earlier this year.

The bombing has been more or less continuous, with multiple ceasefire agreements and so-called humanitarian pauses breached almost as soon as they were announced. Saudi Arabia and its allies have been seeking to push back the Houthi militias that seized control of most of Yemen’s western provinces in March, including the southern port city of Aden.

The countries contributing forces to the Saudi-led war include Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Sudan and Qatar. In less than five months, coalition jets have launched thousands of air strikes.

While the attack is nominally headed by Saudi Arabia, the Obama administration has made it possible by providing coalition jets with midair refueling and both intelligence for targeting strikes and the bombs necessary to carry them out. The coalition has deployed American-made laser-guided bombs as well as internationally outlawed cluster munitions.

Washington recently more than doubled, from 20 to 45, the number of advisors working at joint military operations centers in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. US spy satellites and drones relay live video of bomb targets to the coalition’s operations centers.

The Saudi monarchy and the US are seeking to reinstate former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, who was forced to flee the country in the face of a Houthi assault on Aden. …

According to official UNICEF tallies, there have been more than a thousand child causalities as a result of the unrelenting aerial assault by coalition jets and fierce fighting between pro-Houthi and anti-Houthi forces on the ground. Since March 26, at least 398 children have been killed by bombs and bullets, with a further 605 wounded. Children account for one quarter of the officially counted casualties so far.

Months of air strikes and fierce fighting on the ground between pro-Houthi and anti-Houthi forces have devastated much of the country’s infrastructure, killed more than 4,000, and plunged tens of millions into a dire humanitarian crisis.

Ten million children, approximately 80 percent of the country’s population under 18 years old, are in urgent need of some form of humanitarian aid. With at least one quarter of health facilities no longer providing vaccinations, at least 2.5 million children are at risk of contracting measles, a highly contagious and often deadly disease.

With electricity knocked out in many places and severe fuel shortages, at least 20.4 million Yemenis lack access to clean drinking water, putting many at risk of water-borne diseases such as cholera. Without a safe source of water, 2.5 million children are at risk of diarrheal diseases and another 1.5 million could fall victim to acute respiratory tract infections.

UNICEF also reported that at least 1.8 million children are falling behind in their education, as nearly 400 school buildings have been damaged or destroyed by air strikes and artillery shelling. Another 346 school facilities are being used as shelters for displaced families or have been requisitioned by armed militias.

A report by Amnesty International also released on Tuesday, titled “Nowhere Safe for Civilians,” documents the destruction being unleashed on the population of the Arab world’s poorest country. Donatella Rovera, senior crisis response advisor at Amnesty International, said the report outlined the “bloody trail of death and destruction in Ta’iz and Aden from unlawful attacks, which may amount to war crimes, by all parties.”

The report describes eight Saudi coalition air strikes in southern Yemen that killed 141 civilians and injured 101, mostly women and children. Amnesty International reports numerous strikes that apparently deliberately targeted civilians and non-military targets, including schools being used as shelters and food markets.

An air strike on July 24 on dormitories housing workers at the Steam Power Plant and their families in the southwestern city of Mokha killed 63 people and injured another 50. Amnesty’s researchers found no indications that housing units had been used for any military purpose by the Houthis.

A coalition air strike on July 9 killed ten members of the Faraa family in the village of Tahrur, north of Aden, when a bomb was dropped on the Mus’ab ben Omar school. At least a dozen families had taken up shelter in the school after being displaced by fighting. Again, the Amnesty researchers found no evidence that the building had ever been used for military purposes.

On July 6, the Saudi coalition dropped bombs on a livestock market in Fayush, killing up to 40 people and injuring many others. Residents who survived the attack reported a normal day of buying and selling of goats, sheep and other animals until the bombs fell.

“They were normal people, some desperate people who had reluctantly come to sell their animals because they have no other income to feed their children,” a market seller told the Amnesty researchers. “There was no fighting around here and there were no Houthis, just some unlucky people.”

On the same day these reports were released, Saudi coalition jets launched an attack on the port in the city of Hodeida. This port had been the main location for receiving deliveries of emergency aid for the country’s northern provinces. According to local officials, four cranes used for loading and unloading ships were destroyed, while nearby warehouses were also bombed, bringing work at the port to a halt.

The anti-Houthi forces on the ground backed by Saudi Arabia, known as Popular Resistance Committees, are composed of military units loyal to Hadi, members of the Islamist Islah party, which is affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, separatist fighters from the Southern Movement, and fighters from both Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State (ISIS).

Thousands of Saudi and UAE troops have been deployed to Yemen to assist these forces in the push against the Houthis, which has gained momentum with the recapture of Aden and the nearby Al Anad airbase by pro-Hadi forces at the end of July.

Defense News reported on August 4 that, in advance of the offensive that retook Al Anad, 2,800 Saudi coalition Special Forces had been deployed in Aden along with LeClerc main battle tanks and other armored vehicles operated by the UAE. So far, at least five UAE troops have been reported killed in the fighting.

In Yemen, the United States is in a de facto alliance with AQAP and ISIS against the Houthis, despite being officially at war with AQAP and continuing its campaign of drone strikes against the group’s leadership in Yemen, while it carries out daily air strikes against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria.

The Saudi coalition has refrained from launching any air strikes against AQAP forces, even as it has taken control of large portions of the eastern province of Hadhramaut, including its main city Mukalla, as well as portions of Abyan province.