Campaigners who today lost their case in the British High Courts to suspend arms trade with Saudi Arabia will appeal the decision.
This morning, a British court ruled that the UK can continue to sell arms to Saudi Arabia despite “overwhelming evidence” that UK-made weapons are being used during military campaigns that violate International Humanitarian Law, including the bombing of hospitals.
“This is a very disappointing verdict,” said Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), “and we are pursuing an appeal.”
If this verdict is upheld then it will be seen as a green light for government to continue arming and supporting brutal dictatorships and human rights abusers like Saudi Arabia that have shown a blatant disregard for international humanitarian law.
In a statement released following the verdict, Smith maintained that “the law is clear: where there is a clear risk UK arms might be used in the commission of serious violations of international law, arm sales cannot go ahead.”
He revealed that nothing was presented by the British government to the court that suggests otherwise; “all the evidence we have seen from Yemen suggests the opposite: the risk is very real”, added Smith.
Smith believes that this case once again highlights the UK governments’ “toxic relationship with Saudi Arabia”, which needs to be “examined and exposed” more than ever.