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Human Rights in the Context of Combating Terrorism

Okeil: The Countries which support terrorism must be held accountable rather than questioning those Countries that are caught in the fire of terrorism.

Hagar: Turkey is one of the most prominent sources of water terrorism in the Middle East.

Inis: Education is one of the most important tools in countering terrorism.

Shady: The city of Hodeidah in northern Yemen suffers from the criminal acts of the Houthi militias.

Mujahid: Save Yemen’s children from the Houthi crimes

 

Maat for Peace, Development and Human Rights held a side event on Human Rights in the Context of Combating Terrorism at the headquarters of the Human Rights Council in Geneva. Hence, that came on the sidelines of Maat’s participation in the 40th session of the Human Rights Council.

 The side event began with an opening speech by Maat’s General Director, in which he affirmed that, it is the Arab citizen who pays the price of terrorism and armed conflict. Okeil reviewed some important indicators that emphasize the magnitude of the threat of terrorism to human rights in the Arab region. Especially, in the light of economic fatwas within terrorist organizations, which allow the financing of these organizations from theft, fraud, human trafficking as slaves, and selling people’s organs.

 Okeil condemned in his speech the countries that provide safe haven and media platforms to terrorist organizations and host the principals of these groups on their soil. Furthermore, he presented some instances of which are part of a series of violations against children in Yemen, Syria and the occupied Palestinian territories because of the intervention of a group of countries such as Turkey, Qatar, Iran and the Israeli occupation forces.

 Okeil concluded his speech with a message addressed to the international community: “The priority is to held the countries that create and support terrorism accountable rather than questioning the countries that are terrorized”.

 Okeil conveyed the floor to the other speakers representing three different countries. Whereas, Hagar Monsif, a specialist in water political relations and director of the African Affairs and SDG Unit Manager at Maat, raised the issue of “water terrorism”, which has become one of the most dangerous forms of terrorism in the Middle East. Of which is practiced by states and terrorist organizations that use the main source of life “water” as a means to achieve their political purposes, both at the regional and national level. Hagar also talked about the forms of water terrorism and explained that it is not limited, as some believe, to the lack of water supply, as the deliberate flood also considered water terrorism, which produces destructive effects.

 Moreover, while she was talking about the sources of water terrorism in the Middle East, she highlighted the launch of nearly 20 attacks by ISIS on the Syrian and Iraqi water, as well as their infrastructure. Some of these attacks include floods, the threat of flooding, the closing of dams in Fallujah, Ramadi, and water cuts from Mosul, as well as some raised allegations that ISIS have poisoned the water in small towns in Syria.

 Furthermore, Hagar added that Turkey has built a large number of dams recently in a series of water projects that would provide Turkey with a larger share of water of the Tigris and Euphrates at the expense of shares of Syria and Iraq. Whereas, Turkey has built 22 dams on the Tigris and Euphrates, which are running through Syria and Iraq. The project reduced the flow of water in the river basin by 34%, and caused the dry up of 94% of Mesopotamia, resulting in escalating dust storms in Syria and Iraq, as well as desertification in its southwestern and western provinces.

Then, Ines Elijo Fernández, a specialist in international relations in Spain, presented the main practices leading to the deterioration of the human rights situation. The first of which, the violation of the rights of the clean environment due to global warming and climate change, leading to the influx of “environmental migrants”. Second, eco-political decisions that constitute sustainable land use, along with violating the rights of farmers and rural communities. Furthermore, Inis also referred to the rights of children during the process of combating terrorism and elaborated the impact of terrorist attacks on children’s right to education, health and food.

 Also, one of the speakers was Shadi Alwan, a member of the independent southern group in Yemen, who spoke about the violations of al-Houthi militias in the northern city of Hodeidah.

 Then, via video from inside Yemen, activist Mujahid al-Qub, head of the Monitor organization, gave a detailed report issued by the organization about the serious violations committed by the Houthi militias against women, children and civilians in the city of Al-Hudaydah. The report included detailed statistics on the victims of mines planted by the Houthi militias randomly for a large number of minefields in Hodeidah governorate, killing and injuring hundreds of citizens and spreading terror in their hearts. Causing the disruption of the lives of more than one million citizens who can not go to their farms and businesses. He concluded with an urgent appeal in which he appealed to the international community to rescue the children and women of Yemen who suffer from the worst kinds of violations.

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