Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Slammed with Torture Accusations for War-Crimes

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Slammed with Torture Accusations for War-Crimes 

Last updated on July 31st, 2020

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed (MBZ), who is also known as the most powerful Arab leader and was named under the ‘100 Most Influential People’ in 2019, is facing torture accusations by French authorities. The allegations state that MBZ, as ‘commander in chief of UAE forces’, must have provided the “means and orders for these violations to be carried out” in Yemen.

Due to ill health of the UAE president, the crown prince has been entrusted with most decision making in emirates of Abu Dhabi and is responsible for the presidential public affairs of the state. Often considered as the UAE’s de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Zayed is also responsible for the UAE’s interventionist foreign policy, which is why he has been held responsible for the UAE’s role in Yemen.

Over the years, Abu Dhabi crown prince developed new relationships with European countries. He is also seen as supporting Yemen’s internationally recognised government, amid the ongoing war-crisis in the poor Arab nation.

Yemen has always been a source of interest for both the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The civil war conflict in Yemen has not only killed tens of thousands of civilians but displaced more than that. Today, nearly 80 percent of the population in Yemen depends on humanitarian aid provided by the international communities.

To strengthen the UAE’s position in the global community, Abu Dhabi crown prince has provided substantial aid to war-torn Middle Eastern countries like Yemen. Combining its forces with Saudi Arabia, the prince even made constant efforts to drive out the Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen. As a result of which, MBZ was accused by a group of activists for committing rights violation, during his France visit in November 2018.

Six Yemenis filed a complaint with a judge specialising in crimes against humanity in Paris. The lawsuit held MBZ accountable for the “war crimes and complicity in torture and inhumane treatment in Yemen”. The complaint was filed on behalf of the French Rights Group called AIDL, which stated that acts of torture were committed in the UAE- controlled detention centres on Yemeni territory. The investigations have been re-opened now.

Since French courts can take on cases on the basis of universal jurisdiction even if the crimes took place on foreign territory, it is expected that the case would go into the depths of how Yemen turned into a devastated country. A French investigating magistrate will take on the probe to further check on Abu Dhabi crown prince’s role in alleged war crimes in Yemen.

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