Wer wir sind

Dem Unrecht das Recht entgegensetzen – das ist das erklärte Ziel und die tägliche Arbeit des European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).

Das ECCHR ist eine gemeinnützige und unabhängige Menschenrechtsorganisation mit Sitz in Berlin. Sie wurde 2007 von Wolfgang Kaleck und weiteren internationalen Jurist*innen gegründet, um die Rechte, die in der Allgemeinen Erklärung der Menschenrechte sowie anderen Menschenrechtsdeklarationen und nationalen Verfassungen garantiert werden, mit juristischen Mitteln durchzusetzen.

Gemeinsam mit Betroffenen und Partner*innen weltweit nutzen wir juristische Mittel, damit die Verantwortlichen für Folter, Kriegsverbrechen, sexualisierte Gewalt, wirtschaftliche Ausbeutung und abgeschottete Grenzen nicht ungestraft davonkommen.

25.02.2021

Groundbreaking decision for victims of Italian weapon airstrikes in Yemen

Investigation into responsibility of RWM Italia SpA and Italy’s National Authority for the Export of Armament (UAMA) in deadly airstrike continues

Rome/Berlin/Sana'a - The preliminary investigations judge in Rome ruled yesterday that the public prosecutor in Rome must continue the criminal investigation into managers of RWM Italia SpA, a German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall AG’s Italian subsidiary, and senior officials of Italy’s National Authority for the Export of Armament (UAMA) for their role in a deadly Saudi/United Arab Emirates-led military coalition airstrike in Deir Al-Ḩajārī in northwest Yemen.

In October 2019, the Italian Public Prosecutor’s Office requested the dismissal of the April 2018 criminal complaint filed against RWM Italia and UAMA by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, its Yemen-based partner Mwatana for Human Rights, and the Italian organization Rete Italiana Pace e Disarmo. The three organizations opposed the dismissal.

The judge upheld the grounds of their opposition, and paved the way for a thorough investigation into the responsibility of arms manufacturer and UAMA officials in the deadly airstrike that killed a family of six in October 2016.

“We welcome the  decision to continue the criminal investigation into RWM Italia and UAMA’s role in the deadly attack on Deir Al-Ḩajārī. This decision gives hope to all survivors of deadly airstrikes that had no identifiable military target and killed and injured civilians,” the civil society organizations said in a joint statement. They argue:

  • The prosecutor confirmed that the RWM Italia suspension lug found at the scene of the attack may have been exported in November 2015, at which point UN bodies, international NGOs and Yemeni organizations had documented repeated Saudi/UAE-led coalition violations.
  • There is ample evidence of the use of European arms  – including the MK 80 series bombs produced by RWM Italia, and the Eurofighter Typhoon and Tornado jets partially manufactured by Leonardo SpA – in alleged war crimes committed by the Saudi/UAE-led military coalition in Yemen. 

Furthermore, in a historic decision, the Italian government permanently revoked existing bomb export licenses for missiles and aerial bombs to Saudi Arabia and the UAE on 29 January 2021, thereby cancelling the shipment of more than 12,700 bombs.

Since 2015, thousands of civilians have been killed in the armed conflict in Yemen; many more have died from famine and disease. While human rights violations are committed by all conflict parties, one of the main causes of civilian casualties are airstrikes by the Saudi/UAE-led military coalition whose air fleet is largely composed of European-made fighter jets, bombs and missiles.

“We therefore urge the International Criminal Court to cooperate with national prosecutors to investigate the legal responsibility of corporate and political actors from Germany, France, Italy, Spain and the UK,” the organizations added.

To ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their role in war crimes, in December 2019, ECCHR submitted a joint communication to the ICC together with Mwatana for Human Rights, Amnesty International, the Campaign Against Arms TradeCentre Delàs  and Rete Italiana Pace e Disarmo

fälle

Jemen

Bombenangriffe made in Europe

Waffenexporte

Trotz tausender Angriffe auf zivile Häuser, Märkte, Krankenhäuser und Schulen – geplant und durchgeführt von der Militärkoalition um Saudi-Arabien und die VAE – lieferten und liefern transnationale Unternehmen aus Europa Waffen, Munition und logistische Unterstützung an die Staaten der Militärkoalition. Europäische Waffenexportbehörden genehmigen diese Lieferungen.

Jemen

Europas Verantwortung für Kriegsverbrechen im Jemen

Kriegsverbrechen

Im Oktober 2016 tötete ein Luftangriff – offenbar des von Saudi-Arabien angeführten Militärbündnisses – im Dorf Deir Al-Ḩajārī im Jemen eine sechsköpfige Familie. Die absichtliche und gezielte Bombardierung der Zivilbevölkerung oder einzelner unbeteiligter Zivilist*innen sind Kriegsverbrechen. Das ECCHR geht juristisch dagegen vor.

Pressekontakt

Maria Bause
T: +49 30 69819797

Michelle Trimborn
T: +49 30 40109454

M: presse@ecchr.eu

ANMELDUNG PRESSEVERTEILER