Update 14/08/18: Last week, media reports of a Saudi Arabia-led airstrike on a school bus in Yemen went viral. It’s time for Australia to stop supplying arms to countries committing war crimes like these.

Yemen is enduring one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises right now, and Australia is complicit.

Our government is supplying military exports to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates two countries committing war crimes in Yemen and Defence Minister, Christopher Pyne, has plans to expand this arms trade.

Over the past three years dozens of Saudi Arabia-led Coalition airstrikes have disproportionately and indiscriminately killed civilians, including children, and targeted civilian infrastructure like hospitals, school buses and markets.

Countries like Germany, Norway and Belgium have already cut off arms supplies to Saudi Arabia because of human rights violations in Yemen. It’s time for Australia to do the same. Supplying arms to countries that are killing civilians, including children, is simply indefensible.

It’s time for Australians everywhere to speak up and demand our government stop supporting war crimes in Yemen.

Will you write to Defence Minister Christopher Pyne and tell him to stop the flow of arms and military assistance to members of the Saudi Arabia-led Coalition for use in Yemen?

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Dear Minister,

The latest escalation of the ongoing war in Yemen is devastating to watch unfold on my social media newsfeed.

The current situation is beyond horrific.

To know that your department has continued to supply military exports to both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with an intention to further expand arms trade with those committing war crimes in Yemen is beyond comprehension.

As both sides have engaged in fierce battles over the last three years, we know that civilians have been caught in the middle and have witnessed a range of international humanitarian law violations.

All parties to the conflict have consistently carried out unlawful attacks that have killed or injured civilians.

Yemen is often referred to as the ‘forgotten war’ as the international community – including Australia — has done little to alleviate the suffering of the people.

At a time when Germany  is cutting off arms supplies to Saudi Arabia due to human rights violations in Yemen, Australia is only increasing military exports.

Australia used to champion the Arms Trade Treaty in hope of making this world a safer place. Continuing with military exports to countries like Saudi Arabia and the UAE puts you and in turn all of the Australian people at risk of being complicit in the war in Yemen.

I urge you to:

  • immediately halt the flow of arms and military assistance to members of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition for use in Yemen. This includes any equipment or logistical support being used for  airstrikes; and
  • use your leverage as an ally to call for the Saudi-led Coalition to fully comply with international humanitarian law in conducting airstrikes by ensuring that civilians and civilian objects are not targeted.

Yours sincerely,

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