This Thursday Campaign Against Arms Trade will be in the High Court challenging the Government’s decision to keep arming Saudi Arabia.
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.
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.
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!
Build our voice against the arms sales:
- Sign and share our petition.
- Follow the case on Facebook and Twitter to hear the latest updates first; share the news using #StopArmingSaudi
- Join the protests to challenge further deals
- Ask your MP to speak out
- Read more about the UK’s shameful relationship with Saudi Arabia in our new report
- Order campaign postcards by calling 020 7281 0297 or emailing us at office(at)caat*org*uk
- Target your local arms supplier
- Support our work with a donation