Tuesday, 12 May 2015

12th May 21015, 25 civilians killed 18 injured when Abs prison hit by Saudi led airstrikes in Yemen

On the 12th May 2015, the Saudi led coalition airstrikes hit a prison, the prison mosque and a nearby home, killing at least 25 civilian including 1 woman and 3 children, and injuring 18 more.

This HRW's report of the incident:

At about 3:15 p.m. on May 12, just before the afternoon prayer time, two bombs hit the Abs/Kholan Prison and other buildings in Abs, a town 150 kilometers (93 miles) north of the port city of Hodaida. Thirty-three men convicted of petty crimes were incarcerated there at the time. The strikes killed at least 25 civilians, including one woman and three children, and wounded at least 18 civilians.




Human Rights Watch examined the site on July 25. The bomb hit the prison’s mosque, at the corner of the prison compound, collapsing the structure. Ali Muhammad Hassan Mualim, 55, a local builder, told Human Rights Watch that he was chewing qat with friends at the time of the strike, in a building about 200 meters (219 yards) away and facing the prison:

"When I heard the explosion, I went out and ran toward the prison. I saw bodies, about 30 of them, some cut in half, some with severed limbs. Sometimes I get flashbacks to that day and I get sick—I start throwing up and get headaches."

Among those killed were 17 prisoners, a prison guard, and two people in a shop near the prison, according to a medic at the hospital in Abs.[68] Mualim said he also saw the body of a man who had been driving by the prison on his motorcycle at the time of the attack.

The second bomb struck minutes later, hitting the home of Omar Ali Farjain, about 50 meters (164 feet) from the prison, killing his wife and three of their children. The strike injured Farjain and his daughter, Maryam, 5, who was left with burns and metal fragments in her head. The blast ripped the fa├žade off the building and incinerated the family’s car parked in front.

Muhammad Ahmed Yahya Wadar, a government soldier who lost his brother in the attack, arrived at the scene right after the bombing:

"I heard the bombing from home, and immediately came running to the prison. I saw torn bodies—legs and hands lying where the prison mosque used to be, including my brother Kamal’s. He was a guard at the prison. His son was wounded in the explosion as well."

Human Rights Watch has not been able to determine the intended target of the attack. Khalid Ali Farjain, the brother of Omar Farjain, said he had visited the prison every day since the war began to provide food to the inmates, and that he had never seen any military activity at the prison, such as weapons stored inside or nearby, or Houthi or allied military personnel.

One local resident said that a few dilapidated buildings near the prison belonged to the Yemeni military and had been used to house families of officers, but others denied this. Human Rights Watch discovered the chassis and parts of what appeared to be two military jeeps among the dilapidated buildings, but found no other signs that the area had been used for military purposes, or that people had recently lived in the buildings.

A National Security officer in Sanaa told Human Rights Watch that at the time of the strike, the Houthis had been holding several Saudi prisoners of war at the Abs/Kholan Prison. Human Rights Watch was unable to verify this information.

Since the beginning of the war, several airstrikes in other parts of Abs targeted the military airport, a military compound, and another building off the main road that residents said was being used for military purposes.

Ordinary prisons are civilian objects that may not be targeted unless they are being used for military purposes. Had the Houthis been using the prison to hold captured combatants, it would be a legitimate military objective, though any attack would need to be proportionate, not causing more civilian casualties than the anticipated military gain of the attack.

Location: Abs/Kholan Prison
Date: 5/12/2015
Name
Gender
Age
Killed/Wounded
Suleiman Abdu Muhammad al-Haj
Male
18
Killed
Muhammad Ahmad Aqash
Male
18
Killed
Kamal Wadar
Male
over 18
Killed
Wife of Omar Farjain
Female
over 18
Killed
Abdullah Omar Ali Farjain
Male
8
Killed
Maria Abdullah
Female
2
Killed
Nassim
Female
3
Killed
Walid Abdu Muhammad
Male
20
Killed
Maryam Omar Ali Farjain
Female
5
Wounded
Omar Ali Farjain
Male
over 18
Wounded
Abdul Haddi Kamal Wadar
Male
under 18
Wounded
*The rest of the casualty list is on file at Abs Clinic


What Military Target Was in My Brother's House
https://www.hrw.org/node/283702


The Legal Center for Rights and Development also listed the bombing of the prison in their daily report:


Ref: 15051202

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