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Saudi arms sales: formal legal action launched! Email your MP

Categories: Articles:Peacemaking | Published: 15/03/2016 | Views: 1308
CAAT has begun formal legal action in the High Court to challenge the UK government’s continued licensing of arms exports to Saudi Arabia. The focus of their case is Saudi Arabia’s use of UK arms in Yemen. The Saudi-led attacks – using UK-made warplanes and UK-made bombs – have hit refugee camps, schools, hospitals, a wedding and aid facilities. More than 2,000 children have been killed or injured in the fighting. There is overwhelming evidence these attacks have repeatedly breached international humanitarian law.

Yet the UK government continues to allow weapons sales – licensing an astounding £2.8 billion of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia in the six months after the bombing started. This is in clear violation of UK’s own guidelines on arms sales, and European and international law, and makes a mockery of the government’s claims to ‘rigorously’ control arms exports. Please help CAAT increase the pressure by emailing your MP today.

Of course, the UK should never have been arming authoritarian Saudi Arabia in the first place – the country that executed 47 people in a single day at the start of 2016, that flogs bloggers, that represses women and minorities, and which helped crush democracy protests in Bahrain. Successive UK governments have prioritised arms deals with Saudi Arabia over human rights, and made us complicit in the regime’s crimes.

Last month, Parliament’s International Development Committee called on the government to suspend arms sales and, after thousands of us wrote to our MEPs, the European Parliament voted for an arms embargo to Saudi Arabia. Thank you for your action! Parliament’s Committees on Arms Export Controls, the group of MPs that scrutinise UK arms exports, has finally reconvened, and yesterday announced a full-scale inquiry into UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It’s vital that we keep up the pressure.  The bombing of Yemen, and the UK’s arms sales, are still happening, and people are still dying as a result. Airstrikes killed more than 100 civilians last month and more than 1.4 million children are acutely malnourished.

Whoever your MP is, we need them to know that the UK is complicit in Saudi Arabia’s crimes and to feel the pressure of public opinion. If they can, we need them to show their support by signing EDM 1170, a parliamentary petition calling for an embargo on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Please write to your MP today. Contact your MP Here

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