Yemen: From the Margin of Life, into the Heart of War
The Muhamasheen account for up to 10 per cent of Yemen’s population. Their marginalization becomes especially acute in the context of the deepening humanitarian disaster. Al Muhamasheen translates as ‘the marginalized’ and is a word that designates a group that was – and to a large extent remains – commonly known in Yemen as the Akhdam, or the servants.
Muhamasheen are commonly not allowed to marry with non-Muhamasheen people. Reports of violence targeting them, including gender-based violence, are rife. The fact that they fall outside the tribal and societal structure means they have little access to redress or mediation. While laws in Yemen do not specifically discriminate against Muhamasheen, discrimination against them permeates the entire Yemeni system, including administrative structures, local and traditional authorities.
“From the Margin of Life, into the Heart of War” is a documentary by Mwatana Organization for Human Rights about the suffering of Muhamasheen people in Yemen who find themselves in the heart of the war when the Saudi-led Coalition carried out an attack on 12 July 2015 in Sawan area in Sanaa. In the attack, 23 marginalized including 14 children and seven women of one family were killed, and 28 others including 17 children and seven women were wounded. This attack is one of four attacks on housing camps resulting in the killing of 84 civilians including 14 children and seven women from the marginalized group and wounding at least 87 others including 14 children and 11 women throughout 2015.