UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia 'a moral stain on the UK's international reputation'

Source: Christian Aid

In the wake of yesterday's Court of Appeal judgement which ruled that the UK Government has broken the law by selling arms to Saudi Arabia, Tom Viita, Christian Aid's Head of UK Advocacy, said: "UK arms sales have been pouring petrol on the fire of the world's worst humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen. There is a horrifying roll call of human rights abuses and violations of international humanitarian law perpetrated by the Saudi-UAE-led coalition, propped up by UK government military advisors, arms exports, and ongoing political and technical support.

"The Court of Appeal judgement shows that the government has been in the wrong all along. The only way to start redressing this is to cancel all arms export licenses and transfers to Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners immediately and conduct a thorough review of how arms deals can be better scrutinised to avoid such glaring contradictions of humanitarian law in future.

"The UK Government trumpets itself as one of the largest aid donors to Yemen, but as one of the largest arms exporters to the Middle East, it is giving with one hand and taking away with the other. Such hypocrisy is a moral stain on the UK's international reputation.

"The court's judgement puts scrutiny back on the UK's toothless arms export control regime, already one of the weakest in Europe. If the arms export regime cannot block arms deals that cause countless civilian deaths in Yemen, what use is it?"

In December Christian Aid released a report highlighting the UK's 'double standards' in Yemen and calling for an end to UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Resourcing war and peace can be downloaded here:

Tags: Arms, Saudi Arabia, Christian Aid, Yemen

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