On Monday, the Arab Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) filed a complaint against the Emirates with the ICC over its “indiscriminate attacks against civilians” in Yemen. The NGO accused the UAE of having used banned cluster bombs and hired mercenaries to execute and torture the Yemenis.
“Our complaint targets acts perpetrated on Yemeni territory by the United Arab Emirates, which does not recognize the ICC,” said Joseph Breham, one of the group’s lawyers.
The lawsuit drew an angry reaction from Anwar Gargash, the UAE minister, who tweeted on Tuesday that the AOHR “with its address in Qatar has filed a media complaint against the UAE to the International Criminal Court.”
“People with knowledge are aware that this move aims to create noise, which is Qatar’s favorite game," he added.
The UAE is a key ally of Saudi Arabia in its military campaign on Yemen, which has killed over 12,000 people since its onset in March 2015.
The Emirati air force has played a significant part in the aerial assaults against Yemen. Besides deploying its own troops to Yemeni soil, Abu Dhabi has been training the pro-Saudi militants fighting on the ground against the Yemeni army and its allied forces.
The country has also come under scrutiny for running secret prisons in Yemen, where hundreds of inmates suffer mistreatment and torture.
Saudi Arabia and its allies launched the war in a bid to crush the Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstate former Riyadh-friendly regime, but the kingdom has achieved neither of its goals.
The protracted Saudi war, which has been accompanied by a land, naval, and aerial blockade, has left over 17 million Yemenis in need of food and caused a cholera epidemic.
In addition to its participation in the aggression on Yemen, the UAE is also a member of a Saudi-led quartet of Arab countries that has been leading a trade and diplomatic embargo on Qatar since June.
The Saudi-led bloc accused Doha of supporting terrorism and gave it an ultimatum to comply with a list of wide-ranging demands or face consequences.
Doha, however, strongly denied the allegation of supporting terrorism and refused to meet the demands.
Back in October, Qatar’s former deputy prime minister Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah revealed that the UAE had even planned a military invasion of Qatar with thousands of US-trained mercenaries.
The military action plan was prepared before the Qatar rift, but it was never carried out due to its failure to secure Washington’s support, he said.