Turkey, UK, US asked to arrest senior UAE officials
A British law firm filed requests on Feb. 11 with the authorities in Britain, the United States and Turkey to arrest senior officials from the United Arab Emirates on suspicion of carrying out war crimes and torture in Yemen.
The complaints were filed by law firm Stoke White under the 'universal jurisdiction' principle that countries are obliged to investigate breaches of the Geneva Convention for war crimes wherever they may have been carried out.
The firm filed the complaints to Britain's Metropolitan police and the U.S. and Turkish justice ministries on behalf of Abdullah Suliman Abdullah Daubalah, a journalist, and Salah Muslem Salem, whose brother was killed in Yemen.
Lawyers for the men said in the complaint that the UAE and its "mercenaries" were responsible for torture and war crimes against civilians in Yemen in 2015 and 2019. It named senior UAE political and military figures as suspects.
A spokeswoman for the UAE declined immediate comment, as did a spokesman for London's Metropolitan Police. There was no immediate reply to emails to the U.S. Justice Department and the Turkish embassy in London.
"The suspects reside in the UAE and the United States, and are not resident in the U.K. or Turkey," said Hakan Camuz, head of international law at Stoke White. "However, they travel to the U.K. regularly."
"It is requested that the police monitor their entry into the mentioned countries," Camuz said.
The UAE is a leading partner in a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to restore ousted President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's government after it was toppled by the Houthi movement in late 2014. In July the UAE said it was withdrawing its troops from Yemen but remained part of the coalition.