Nottingham Lib Dem spokesperson Barry Holliday condemns the Saudi-led airstrike on Doctors Without Borders (MSF) Hospital in Abs, Yemen
The Liberal Democrats have always passionately supported international humanitarian law; in which it states that it is a war crime to deliberately attack a hospital or other medical unit, whether it is civilian or military, due to their special protected status.
All parties in the Yemen conflict have been repeatedly given the GPS location information for the hospital in Abs by MSF. However, despite this an MSF hospital was struck recently on 15th August, by the Saudi coalition forces. Eleven people were killed, including an MSF staff member, and a further 19 were injured. This horrific act took place less than 48 hours after the Saudi coalition struck a school killing 10 children.
Barry said “This attack is abhorrent, and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. It could constitute a grave violation of International Humanitarian Law. I urge total transparency from Saudi led coalition forces in the coming months. We cannot accept that this horrific loss of life could be dismissed by those responsible.”
The hospital has treated 4,600 people since July 2015, and MSF supports an emergency room and maternity unit [source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37083035] in the hospital. At the time of the airstrike there were 23 patients in surgery, 25 in the maternity ward, 13 new-born infants and 12 other children in the hospital. Meanwhile, King Salman of Saudi Arabia rewarded all military personnel involved in the Yemen campaign by giving them all an additional month’s salary.
Barry continued “I call for the Prime Minister, to condemn this attack and to suspend arms sales to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia while a full independent international investigation in to this alleged war crime takes place, and those responsible are held to account under international law.
In addition, I call on all Yemeni warring parties to respect civilians, health facilities, and medical staff, as required under International Humanitarian Law.”
As a result of this attack MSF have announced they will be evacuating it’s staff from all hospitals in northern Yemen as it cannot get assurances that it’s hospitals would not be bombed again.
Doctors without borders statement – http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/yemen-airstrike-msf-supported-hospital-kills-least-11-wounds-least-19
Tim Farron MP condems attack – https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/aug/15/saudi-led-air-strike-yemen-hospital-kills-at-least-seven
Nottingham Lib Dems condemn similar attack in Afghanistan – http://nottinghamlibdems.org.uk/en/article/2015/1116201/nottingham-city-liberal-democrats-condemn-the-u-s-led-air-strike-on-doctors-without-borders-msf-hospital-in-kunduz-afghanistan