A British law firm on Wednesday filed requests with the authorities in the UK, the United States and Turkey to arrest senior officials from the United Arab Emirates on suspicion of committing war crimes and torture in Yemen, according to Reuters.
The complaints were filed by law firm Stoke White under the “universal jurisdiction” principle that countries are obliged to investigate war crimes wherever they may have been carried out.
The firm filed the complaints with Britain’s Metropolitan police and the US 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 sent to the US Justice Department and the Turkish Embassy in London.
“The case is filed against high ranking officials in the UAE government and ministry of defense, alongside the U.S. mercenaries who have acted under the direct orders of the UAE government,” said Hakan Camuz, head of international law at Stoke White.
Camuz, according to the Turkish media, is a pro-Turkish-government figure living in the UK. He served as the head of the Britain branch of the pro-government Independent Industrialists and Businessmen’s Association (MÜSİAD).
“We believe we have compelling legal grounds for authorities in the UK, US and Turkey to investigate and prosecute under the universal jurisdiction laws,” Camuz said. He said his clients had fled Yemen for Turkey.
Some of the suspects live in the UAE and often travel to Britain and the United States, and others live in the United States.