Amnesty International has again called on the Australian Government to cease the transfer of all military exports to Saudi Arabia, as yet another country announces they will stop arms trade with the Kingdom.
The announcement by the Danish government to suspend all exports of weapons and military equipment — including surveillance equipment — to Saudi Arabia follows decisions by Germany to also cease transfers and the recent announcement that the US military will cease refuelling Saudi/UAE-led coalition warplanes involved in the conflict. Despite mounting international pressure and repeated calls from Amnesty International to stop, Australia has continued to transfer military equipment to the Kingdom.
Responding to the announcement by the Danish government, Trine Christensen, Amnesty International Denmark’s Director, said:
“We welcome this decision. The human rights situation in Saudi Arabia has deteriorated rapidly over the past years, with a concerted effort to crush dissent and curb freedom of expression.
“Despite the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, the world has continued to sell weapons fuelling the conflict, and — as documented by Amnesty and others — enabled the Saudi Arabian-led coalition to target civilians, schools and hospitals.”
“It is high time that countries all over the world send a clear message that such human rights violations and such suffering will not be met by silence and inaction, but instead by strong criticism and clear consequences.
“A small country like Denmark can make a difference and play a role in persuading other countries to take a firm stand against Saudi Arabia’s massive human rights abuses at home and abroad.”
Amnesty has repeatedly called on the Australian Government to also suspend all arms sales to Saudi Arabia because of the clear risk that they will be used to carry out violations of international humanitarian law in Yemen. Australia has approved 14 military exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the last 2 years alone.