This January we are taking the government to court to demand an end to UK complicity in the war on Yemen. We will be hosting a series of actions and events in the coming months for you to get involved in. Join us in taking a stand against UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and stand in solidarity with Yemen!
UK complicity in Yemen war
The war in Yemen has been raging on for almost 8 years, and has led to an estimated 377,000 deaths through direct and indirect causes, according to the UN. The UK has supplied billions of pounds worth of fighter jets, bombs and missiles to the Saudi-led coalition for use in Yemen. At least 8,983 civilians have been killed in attacks by the coalition, which has targeted homes and farms, schools and hospitals, weddings and funerals.
Arms sales in these circumstances are prohibited by UK rules, which say they should not be allowed where there is a “clear risk” that a weapon “might” be used in a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law.
Yet the UK government continues to promote and protect weapons sales, despite the devastating human cost. In total, CAAT estimates that the UK has supplied arms worth over £23 billion to Saudi Arabia since the war in Yemen began.
Info about the court case
The High Court has confirmed that our legal case to challenge the government over the supply of UK weapons for the war in Yemen has been listed for hearing on 31st January – 2nd February 2023.
In 2019, legal action by CAAT forced the government to stop issuing export licences for weapons that could be used in the war in Yemen. In a landmark decision, the government was ordered to retake all its previous decisions in a lawful manner.
But in July 2020 the government resumed arms sales, claiming any violations of international humanitarian law were only ‘isolated incidents’. Since then it has licensed more than £2.2 billion additional weapons sales in support of the war.
CAAT’s new case argues that the government’s conclusions that there were only a “small number” of violations of International Humanitarian Law committed by coalition forces, and that these did not form a “pattern”, are irrational, flying in the face of the weight of evidence to the contrary. CAAT further argues that even “isolated incidents” of violations could still involve a clear risk of further violations.