Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia has unleashed a brutal bombardment on the people of Yemen, and weapons produced in the UK are playing a central role in these attacks. We need your support to take legal action to end UK complicity in the devastation of Yemen.
The Saudi bombing has struck schools and hospitals, and decimated vast residential areas. Over 10,000 civilians have died, 80% of the population now require urgent aid, and a child is dying every 10 minutes from preventable diseases.
A huge range of voices – including UN agencies and international childrens' charities – say that the ongoing attacks amount to serious violations of international humanitarian law.
Over £4.6 billion worth of arms sales have been licensed by the UK government to Saudi Arabia since the conflict started, including £1.9 billion worth of bombs and missiles.
We can't let this continue.
In February, CAAT took on the UK government in the High Court arguing for an end to the sale of all UK arms that could be used in Yemen. But in an extremely disappointing decision, the courts ruled against us.
If this verdict is upheld then it will be seen as a green light for the UK to continue arming and supporting human rights-abusers like Saudi Arabia.
UK arms export legislation is very clear: sales must stop where there is a “clear risk” that weapons might be used in serious violations of international law. Yet, the UK government has continued to fuel the Yemen crisis by selling weapons to Saudi Arabia.
"Nothing in the open evidence, presented by the UK government to the court, suggests this risk does not exist in relation to arms to Saudi Arabia. Indeed, all the evidence we have seen from Yemen suggests the opposite: the risk is very real. You need only look at the devastating reality of the situation there". - Rosa Curling, Associate solicitor at Leigh Day, July 2017.
The Saudi attacks are only getting worse: there were more air strikes on Yemen in the first half of 2017 than the whole of 2016. In June, every major UK opposition party called for an end to the arms sales in pre-election statements. In October, Saudi Arabia was added to a UN ‘blacklist’ for grave violations against children in Yemen. Still the arms continue to flow from the UK.
We need your support.
CAAT’s grounds for appeal, and the government’s response, have now been submitted to the Court of Appeal and judges are considering these documents. We are determined to keep pushing until we get a result that favours the lives of people in Yemen over arms companies’ profits. But we are up against institutions with vast power and financial resources compared to our own.
CAAT has already been ordered to pay £40,000 in court fees and has applied for the costs of the appeal to be capped at a further £30,000. As a small organisation, running entirely on donations, this is a significant cost for us – we need your support to move forward with the case.
Please pledge and share today to help us to push ahead with the Appeal and hold the UK government to account for its complicity in the devastation of Yemen.
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