CAAT has launched a new legal challenge to stop the sale of UK weapons for use in the war in Yemen. Our action continues until we stop these sales once and for all.
In July, the government resumed issuing arms export licences for use in the war in Yemen: an appalling and astonishing decision.
UK rules explicitly prohibit the sale of weapons when there is a “clear risk they might be used in violations of international humanitarian law.”
There’s no ‘might’ about it here.
Violations of International Humanitarian Law by the Saudi-led coalition have been reported since the first airstrikes hit Yemen in March 2015, and they continue now. The attacks have killed thousands of civilians and targeted food production, schools and hospitals. Yemen’s devastating humanitarian crisis is also a direct result of the war.
This war is waged with UK weapons.
Over half of Saudi Arabia’s combat aircraft used for the bombing raids are UK-supplied and they are dropping UK-made bombs and firing UK-made missiles. CAAT estimates the value of sales to the Coalition since the beginning of the war to be at least £18 billion.
Last year, as a result of CAAT’s previous legal action, hundreds of millions of pounds worth of arms sales were put on hold.
The Court of Appeal found government decisions to allow arms sales were ‘irrational and therefore unlawful’. The government was forced to stop issuing new arms export licences for use in the war and review all its previous decisions to allow arms sales, in accordance with the law.
Yet the government’s review was a whitewash. It concluded that any violations of International Humanitarian Law committed by the Saudi coalition were only ‘isolated incidents’ – despite the fact that hundreds of attacks on residential areas, schools, hospitals, civilian gatherings, and agricultural land and facilities have been documented.
The government has resolved to return to business as usual, but this is a business with a terrible cost and we cannot let it continue.
- Read our press release, and stories in today’s Guardian and Independent.
- Can you spread the word? Share this on Twitter, or Facebook.
- As the wheels of the legal process begin to turn again, please help keep the pressure on the government in Parliament by raising this issue with your MP.
- Thank you to everyone who has recently written; here we debunk some of the government’s justifications for continuing the sales.