Press TV has conducted an interview with Ajamu Baraka, a human rights activist, in Cali, Colombia, to ask for his opinion on the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen.
The following is a rough transcription of the interview.
Press TV: These charities are expressing their concern on the humanitarian situation in Yemen like Oxfam, Islamic Relief and Save the Children. How far do you think those calls are going to be heard specifically considering this aggression has lasted for way over a month now and it is the people, the children, the civilians and the women who are paying the price?
Baraka: I think, we were saying as human rights defenders that the charities may be reluctant to say that it is outrageous that the international community has allowed this to go on for as long as it has. It is outrageous that the Security Council has not condemned the Saudis for their illegal attack on Yemen and their barbaric attack on civilians in their country. It is very clear that what we have operating here is a dual ethical system, a dual legal system that is one for the West and its allies and another one is for everyone else. It is absolutely incredible that this slaughter has continued for as long as it has.
Press TV: Well, Mr. Baraka, if you could venture an opinion, why is it that the life of a Yemeni is not equal to the life of for example an American?
Baraka: That is a good question. It is embedded in the historic colonial relationships and the relative value displace our life by westerners. Basically the life of someone from the West does not care the same value as a non-European other. That is why we have people who are still suffering in Gaza and still living in the rubble of their homes months after the racist incursion by the Israelis into Gaza. That is why we don’t see the slaughter of people in Yemen without a peak, without any kind of concern being expressed by the international community, it is outrageous and it demonstrates that there are two sets of standards in place here.
Press TV: Right, now, we also know Saudi Arabia announces willingness for a five-day ceasefire set to come in to place in a few hours or so; however, ever since that announcement that we have seen an increase in the bombardment of Yemen. Why do you think that is so, why call for humanitarian ceasefire, but yet create a catastrophe on the ground just before that?
Baraka: Well, the objective of the ceasefire seems to be to create a situation where the bombing will stop, they might allow some humanitarian assistance to go in, and then they are going to create a pretext to then start the bombing all over again and they blame that on the opposition. It is clear that the only way that the Saudis can succeed in Yemen is as a consequence of a full-blown ground invasion, something that they are reluctant to do. So, this pause for bombing is primarily political, they have been advised by the US and it has no real bearing on what is going to have to take place in order for that situation to be resolved.