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Sutton Coldfield Amnesty Calls on Prime Minister

Sutton Coldfield human rights defenders are calling on the British Government to halt all arms exports to Saudi Arabia and its coalition allies in the war on Yemen.

Members of the town’s local Amnesty International group have signed a petition hoping to prevent British arms being used in airstrikes against people in Yemen.

The petition is part of a national campaign by the human rights charity which has uncovered evidence that UK-made missiles have been used to destroy civilian targets including schools.

The conflict in Yemen has been ongoing since 2014, with a coalition led by Saudi Arabia carrying out airstrikes against Huthi rebels who took over the Yemeni capital Sanaa 18 months ago. Hundreds of people have been killed or injured as a result of the fighting.

In the midst of this crisis the UK has been supplying arms to the Saudi Government, including combat aircraft and bombs for use in the Yemen campaign. In the last five years, arms export licenses worth some £5.5 billion have been authorised for Saudi Arabia. Since the conflict began the UK has issued a further 37 arms export licenses for combat aircraft and their spare parts and bombs.

The petition calls on British Prime Minister David Cameron to suspend all arms transfers to members of the coalition carrying out attacks in Yemen, to condemn the use of cluster munitions in the Yemen crisis and to call for an international investigation into the human rights violations committed by all sides.

Sutton Coldfield Amnesty International chairman Andrew Hindle says: “We have until the end of February to collect names for our petition. People who are unable to sign in person can also sign electronically on the Amnesty International website - It takes just a few minutes to add your name to a petition which is aiming to save lives.”

The local group meets on the second Tuesday of every month (except August) at 8pm in the Conference Centre, Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 69 Lichfield Road, Sutton Coldfield, B74 2NU. New members are always given a warm welcome.

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