Target: President Barack Obama
Goal: Open an independent and transparent investigation into the airstrike on a funeral hall in Sanaa, Yemen.
Over 140 people have been killed and more than 500 wounded by an airstrike allegedly carried out by the Saudi Arabia-led and U.S.-backed bombing campaign in Yemen. The victims were mainly civilians who were attending a funeral. Many were killed in the initial bombing of the building, a well known funeral home. However, there are also reports of airstrikes against people trying to help survivors in the immediate aftermath of the bombing.
Saudi Arabian authorities have stated that they will investigate this incident in cooperation with U.S. investigators, and the Joint Incident Assessment Team — a team consisting of representatives from the coalition of states and led by Saudi Arabia. The airstrike was allegedly carried out by Saudi Arabian warplanes using munitions given to Saudi Arabia by the U.S. government, and the proposed investigation team consists entirely of belligerents on one side of the conflict. Furthermore, previous Joint Incident Assessment Team reports have all but absolved the coalition of any responsibility for a bombing campaign that numerous other observers allege has included the systematic targeting of civilians. Sign our petition and demand a truly independent, transparent, internationally-led investigation into this incident.
Dear Mr. President,
I was shocked to hear allegations that the Saudi-led coalition bombed a funeral in Sanaa, killing at least 140 civilians, and injuring 500 more. This, however, is not the first time that the coalition has allegedly bombed civilian targets. Hospitals, markets, schools — all have allegedly been systematically targeted, and destroyed leaving Yemen, and the Yemeni facing disease, starvation, and poverty.
Saudi officials have opened an investigation, but it is hardly impartial. As you know it includes a few U.S. investigators as well as the Joint Incident Assessment Team — an organization consisting of representatives of the coalition and Saudi investigators. This investigation cannot hope to be independent or impartial, as the majority of the parties involved have clear conflicts of interest. Indeed, the Joint Incident Assessment Team has previously exonerated the coalition despite significant evidence of the intentional targeting of MSF hospitals.
If there are no consequences for crimes during war then there is nothing to stop war crimes; if there is no hope of justice in this matter, thousands more will die. I urge you to do everything in your power to create an independent and transparent investigation led by a neutral party to investigate this matter.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Lance Cpl. James J. Vooris