British government helps Saudi butchery of Yemeni civilians

This video says about itself:

Yemen crisis: one factory demolished, hundreds of jobs destroyed

6 February 2017

Following the publication of the ILO’s Yemen Damage and Needs Assessment: Crisis Impact on Employment and the Labour Market, we take a look at how the destruction of a Yemen ceramics factory – only one of numerous workplaces destroyed since the escalation of the crisis in 2015 – has led to the loss of hundreds of jobs, and increased the vulnerability of those who had relied on it for their livelihood.

By Felicity Collier in Britain:

Government in court over Saudi arms sales

Wednesday 8th February 2017

Court case to stop British weapons exports to Saudis begins

PEACE activists accused the government in the High Court yesterday of breaking the law by arming Saudi Arabia despite strong evidence that British-made weapons have been used to carry out war crimes in Yemen.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said that fighter jets and bombs sold by Britain to the Gulf state have been used in an assualt on neighbouring Yemen, in which thousands of people have been killed.

The group opposes ministers’ refusal to suspend export licences as well as its decisions to grant new ones. More than £3.3 billion worth of arms have been licensed since the bombing in Yemen began of March 2015.

The campaign notes that Saudi Arabia is guilty of “repeated and serious breaches” of international humanitarian law. The three-day case will likely shine a light on the wider arms trade.

Under current British law, arms export licences cannot be granted if there is a clear risk that the weapons could be used to violate humanitarian law.

The government disputes that there is a “clear risk,” despite allegations that Saudi Arabia has purposefully targeted civilians in air raids.

CAAT said more than 10,000 people have been killed by a Saudi-led coalition intervening in the Yemeni civil war. The fighting has created a humanitarian crisis with 80 per cent of Yemenis in need of aid.

The hearing has started in open court, but a large part of the judicial review will take place behind closed doors so that secret evidence backing the government’s claims can be put to the judges.

Lord Justice Burnett and Mr Justice Haddon-Cave were told that the International Trade secretary Liam Fox, who is defending the government, is “relying considerably on sensitive material” that “would be damaging to national security,” if disclosed in an open court.

But Martin Chamberlain QC, appearing for CAAT, said that evidence against the government included reports and findings from organisations including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam — which was enough to show that “no reasonable decision maker” could have allowed the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia to continue.

Mr Chamberlain said CAAT understood that the government was continuing to grant licences for military equipment to Saudi Arabia.

22 thoughts on “British government helps Saudi butchery of Yemeni civilians

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