UK government complicit in Saudi Arabia’s war crimes, no matter what the high court says

10 July 2017 - 1:00pm
Press release

The High Court has ruled today that the UK government is not breaking the law by continuing to approve export licences for weapons bound for Saudi Arabia. Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) had brought a legal challenge against the department in charge of arms control after British arms continued to be shipped to Saudi Arabia despite its military attacks in Yemen, which have included indiscriminate attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.

Responding to news, War on Want’s senior militarism and security campaigner, Ryvka Barnard, said:

"The court’s decision is dangerous, as it lends added legitimacy to a poorly regulated arms trade that allows for profit to be made from death and destruction.

"There is overwhelming evidence that weapons sales to Saudi Arabia are used in violations of international law, but even the risk of that possibility should have halted these arms exports long ago.

"We applaud the work done by Campaign Against Arms Trade in exposing the deadly arms trade and the UK government’s complicity in it, and support their impending appeal of this disappointing decision.

"In the meantime, the UK government remains complicit in war crimes committed by Saudi Arabia as well as the other repressive regimes which receive UK arms exports. Even if the courts won’t hold the government to account, the public will through increased campaigning and protest.”


Notes to editors

Campaign Against Arms Trade: Campaigners seek to appeal 'very disappointing' verdict on arms exports to Saudi Arabia

Guardian: UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia can continue, high court rules  

For more information and interviews contact Liz McKean on +44 7983 550 728


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