UK court rejects bid for legal review of Saudi arms sales
A UK-based NGO accuses the government of contributing to international law violations and the world's greatest humanitarian tragedy in Yemen.
The High Court in London denied a judicial challenge to the UK government's decision to continue arms supplies to Saudi Arabia that might be used in the Yemen war on Tuesday.
Judges dismissed the case brought forth by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) after it presented its arguments early in 2023.
The UK-based NGO accuses the government of contributing to international law violations and the world's greatest humanitarian tragedy in Yemen, where tens of thousands of people were killed in recent years.
However, the judges sided with the British government, saying there was "continuing rationality" in a risk assessment conducted by authorities before resuming arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2020.
Saudi Arabia has led a coalition in Yemen since 2015 that has led to the killing of thousands and exacerbated famine and destruction of its people.
The NGO filed the lawsuit after Britain confirmed the restart of sales, with officials claiming that there was no apparent risk that weapons would be used in a major breach of international humanitarian law.
According to CAAT, the government has sold Saudi Arabia $9.8 billion worth of weapons, including combat planes, guided bombs, and missiles.
A spokesperson for the organization, Emily Apple, stated that it was "obviously disappointed with the verdict."
Apple added that "the court's ruling, much of which was based on closed evidence that we were not allowed to hear, exposes the low threshold the government has to reach in order to sell weapons to regimes committing human rights violations."
It is worth mentioning that in April, informed Yemeni sources reported that Saudi Arabia had summoned the head and members of the Yemeni Presidential Leadership Council on the anniversary of the Council that was announced from Riyadh.
The sources pointed out that the Saudi Defense Minister, Khalid bin Salman, briefed the head of the leadership council and members of the council on the solution for a way out of the war on Yemen during their meeting.
According to UNICEF in late May, eight years of Saudi-led war have wrecked the lives of millions of children in Yemen, leaving 11 million in need of one or more types of humanitarian assistance, warning that if urgent action is not taken, millions would face increased risks of malnutrition.