Stop Arming Saudi: decision time

This Thursday Campaign Against Arms Trade will be in the High Court challenging the Government’s decision to keep arming Saudi Arabia.

Image of Yemen destruction, saying the UK approved £7.7 million of arms sales to Saudi Arabia every single day since it started bombing Yemen

The hearing will determine if a judicial review will be granted to consider whether UK arms sales to Saudi are in violation of domestic and European arms export law.

Thousands of people have been killed and millions left without basic resources since Saudi Arabia launched its attacks on Yemen in March 2015. Hospitals, schools, refugee camps and market places have all been bombed.

The government admits that Saudi Arabia has used UK weapons in its attacks, saying “UK-built and licensed Typhoon and Tornado aircraft from the Royal Saudi Air Force have been deployed on combat missions in the Yemen campaign.” Paveway bombs, and Brimstone and Storm Shadow missiles have also been used. The government actually “accelerated delivery of Paveway precision-guided bombs” in response to Saudi requests.

Brimstone missiles on a Typhoon at the Farnborough arms fair
Brimstone missiles on a Typhoon at the Farnborough arms fair. Join us to challenge the next event in July.

Since day one of the bombing, when Amnesty reported that six children were among 25 killed in air-strikes in a residential neighbourhood, the evidence that the bombing is violating international law has continued to mount.

Yet the Government still insists it is satisfied the sales are legal – a position it has maintained by denying and ignoring all of the evidence. Even after a UN report in January 2016 confirmed a pattern of “widespread and systematic attacks on civilian targets”, the government insisted “there has not been a breach of international humanitarian law by the Coalition.”

The Government’s own rules are supposed to stop weapons being sold where they will be used to abuse human rights or to commit war crimes, yet it continues to arm and aid the destruction in Yemen – approving the sale of £2.8 billion more weapons since the bombing began.

That’s the equivalent of £7.7 million of arms sales every single day.

There can be no moral or legal justification for continuing the sales. That they have continued is a result of the enormous power of the arms lobby and the influence of the Saudi relationship – a relationship that fuels instability and repression, corrupts our own political system and makes us complicit in Saudi Arabia’s crimes.

David Cameron and King Salman
David Cameron meets King Salman of Saudi Arabia (Credit: Georgina Coupe, Crown Copyright)

This is our chance to put the UK’s toxic relationship with Saudi Arabia under the spotlight, and if we’re granted permission for a full-court hearing we’ll have a unique opportunity to put the arms trade on trial and challenge sales to human rights abusers.

But the government has pulled out all the stops to keep the weapons flowing. Please spread the word this week to expose and challenge this!

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2 Replies to “Stop Arming Saudi: decision time”

  1. Stop the selling of arms to war zones, billions have been made from these atrocities and probably paid for by innocent tax payers money, people who would want nothing to do with this and because of our government we have ALL pulled the trigger !

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