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Rights groups urge UN Chief to put Saudi Arabia back on blacklist

Rights groups urge UN Chief to put Saudi Arabia back on blacklist

Twenty prominent human rights groups have urged United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon to put Saudi Arabia back on a blacklist for overwhelmingly violating children’s rights in Yemen.

“If the Saudi-led coalition wants to be removed from the list, it should stop killing and maiming children and bombing schools and hospitals in Yemen, the violations for which it was listed,” the groups wrote in a letter on Wednesday.

The letter was signed by 20 rights groups, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and Oxfam, who accused Ban of giving in to “political manipulation” by the kingdom.

On Monday, the UN dropped Saudi Arabia from its annual blacklist, only one week after it announced the blacklisting of the regime.

Amnesty International decried the move as “blatant pandering,” which “damages the credibility of the UN as a whole.”

“The responsibility of the Saudi-led coalition for grave violations against children in many of these attacks is not in doubt,” wrote the rights groups.

“The evidence of grave violations against children in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition is overwhelming,” read the letter.

They said the UN chief’s decision undermined “an invaluable tool in efforts to curb violations against children in armed conflict.”

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