Time to act on Yemen

Protesters block a road holding signs saying "Stop Arming Saudi"

Protesters at this year’s DSEI arms fair blocked deliveries of weapons calling for an end to arms sales to Saudi

What is happening in Yemen should be plastered across every UK newspaper, every day. Saudi forces are using UK-supplied weapons to destroy vital civilian infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, water supplies and electrical grids.

The level of humanitarian destruction is staggering. With some 7 million Yemenis now facing famine-like conditions because of very deliberate political decisions by the Saudi regime, the UK government has become complicit in ‘famine crime.’ On top of this, Yemen’s cholera epidemic is spiraling out of control. As the millionth case looms next month reveals it is to become the worst cholera outbreak in modern history. Last week, the water and sewage systems in Hodeida, Sa’ada and Taiz stopped operating altogether. Making matters worse is the fortnight-long blockade that has been inflicted on Yemen, stopping vital humanitarian access, which persists today despite Wednesday’s promise otherwise. This is the direct result of the bombing that the UK government is facilitating through its arms sales.

We cannot let this go on. The recent escalation of violence has led to renewed calls to urgently end UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia. On Thursday, Fabian Hamilton MP joined the chorus of voices calling for the suspension of all arms export licenses to Saudi Arabia, and to ‘any state that uses, or could potentially use, weapons we supply for internal repressesion or foreign wars.’ The UK government has shown un-dwindling support for the brutal Saudi regime, licensing £4.6 billion worth of licensed arms sales since the bombardment began.

Earlier this year, CAAT took on the UK government in the High Court arguing for an end to the sale of all UK arms to Saudi Arabia that could be used in Yemen. In an extremely dissapointing verdict, the courts ruled against us. Since then the situation in Yemen has got even worse, so we’re pushing back even harder. But we need your help – we need to raise £30,000 to appeal the decision and a Crowdfunder launced two weeks ago has already seen over 720 people pledge to support the case.

If all of the above has not already persuaded you, here are four more reasons to support our legal case with a donation:

  1. These arms sales are illegal. UK arms export legislation is very clear: sales must stop where there is a “clear risk” that weapons might be used in serious violations of international law.
  2. The case will send a message to the UK government that we prioritise human rights and human lives above arms company profits. UK arms sales to Saudi have generated huge profits for arms companies.
  3. The case will set a vital precedent. If the current verdict is upheld then it will be viewed by future governments as a green light to continue selling arms to human rights abusers and those with a total disregard for international law.
  4. Working together is the only way we can hold the UK government to account. CAAT is a small, independent organisation that runs entirely on donations, taking on institutions with far greater reach and power. We need your support to make this work possible.

Donate here if you possibly can. There are other ways to help too – like telling a friend, or sharing it online. In fact tell everybody – there is no time to lose. Every person that shares the page online will raise an average of £26 to support the campaign.

CAAT would not exist without its supporters. Each new supporter helps us strengthen our call for an end to the international arms trade.

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