This morning the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, promised that the UK’s “response will be considered” if the Saudi authorities are linked to the disappearance of journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. He refused to end arms sales to the regime, claiming that the UK has “a very strict arms sale control mechanism.”
UK government statistics show that since the bombing of Yemen began in 2015, the UK has licensed £4.7 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, including:
- £2.7 billion worth of ML10 licenses (Aircraft, helicopters, drones)
- £1.9 billion worth of ML4 licenses (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)
Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:
“For decades now, the Saudi authorities have committed terrible atrocities against Saudi people, and for the last three and a half years they have used UK arms to wage a terrible war against Yemen.
No matter how bad the situation has got, Theresa May, Jeremy Hunt and their predecessors have prioritised arms sales over human rights.
We hope that the current pressure will force the government into taking action, but it should never have come to this. It shouldn’t take the disappearance of a journalist for the UK to reconsider its relationship with the Saudi regime.”
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