- Suspected sorcerer beheaded and alleged thief had hand amputated by Ansar al-Sharia militia
- Yemenis have suffered ‘human rights catastrophe’ in conflict between government and Al Qaeda group
- Dozens more killed during ‘reckless’ counter-insurgency by Yemen forces
- Charity says tragedy will ‘haunt Yemen for decades’ unless perpetrators are brought to justice
PUBLISHED: 05:51 EST, 4 December 2012 | UPDATED: 06:05 EST, 4 December 2012
Al Qaeda committed ‘truly shocking’ human rights abuses including crucifixions and the beheading of an alleged sorceror during its 16 months in control of a southern region of Yemen, a report by Amnesty International claimed today.
The London-based charity has also released a video which appears to show a suspected thief having his hand amputated by the Ansar al-Sharia militia, which seized power of the Abyan governorate in February 2011.
Amnesty said dozens more civilians were then killed during reckless counter-insurgency operations by the Yemeni government as it sought to win back the territory from the Al Qaeda-affiliated group.
The tragedies would ‘haunt Yemen for decades to come’ unless the perpetrators were caught and the families compensated, the charity said.
Amnesty International Middle East and North Africa Director Philip Luther said: ‘Abyan experienced a human rights catastrophe as Ansar al-Sharia and government forces vied for control of the region during 2011 and the first half of 2012.
‘The Yemeni authorities must ensure that a commission of inquiry announced in September covers the truly shocking abuses committed.