Australian Government must suspend military exports to Saudi Arabia

Responding to reports of a “vast offensive” underway to capture Hodeidah city from Huthi control, supported by the Saudi Arabia and UAE-led coalition, and the announcement that the US military will cease refuelling Saudi/UAE-led coalition warplanes involved in the conflict, Amnesty International Australia’s Crisis Campaigns Coordinator Diana Sayed said:

“While any steps to rein in reckless Saudi Arabia and UAE-led coalition air strikes is a step in the right direction, more action is needed. Australia, the US, UK and all other states must immediately stop the irresponsible arms transfers used to fuel human rights abuses in Yemen.

“As a global arms control leader, it is deeply concerning that the Australian Government continues to allow the trade of arms with Saudi Arabia and to its allies in the war in Yemen. Amnesty has repeatedly called on the Australian Government to publicly report the exact nature of these arms transfers, and to cease the authorisation of any future arms transfers while there remains a substantial risk these arms will be used to fuel human rights abuses.

“Australians deserve to know whether we are complicit in enabling war crimes in Yemen, and the Government’s silence so far has been deafening. Amnesty International and others have documented endless examples in Saudi Arabia where the government and its officials have flouted people’s right to life, equality, justice – and many other human rights.

“Despite this, Australia chooses to wilfully ignore all of the human rights violations committed by Saudi Arabia and continue to expand military exports to the Kingdom. Australia has approved 14 military exports to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in the last 2 years alone. That is an incredibly alarming trend that needs to stop.”