European Parliament urges arms embargo on Saudi Arabia

Responding to the news that the European Parliament has condemned the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia following the killing of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi and called for an arms embargo, Covadonga de la Campa, Interim Director of the Amnesty International, EU Office, said:

“The recent killing of Jamal Khashoggi has exposed the limits of silent diplomacy when faced with a sharp and sustained disregard for human rights.

“Amnesty International has documented scores of unlawful attacks committed by the Saudi Arabia-led coalition in Yemen, including indiscriminate and disproportionate airstrikes that have killed and injured civilians and destroyed scores of homes, schools, hospitals, markets and mosques.

“Given the clear evidence that arms could be used to commit serious violations in Yemen, all arms-supplying states must suspend arms transfers to Saudi Arabia and its coalition members.

“We welcome the European Parliament’s strong criticism of Saudi Arabia’s crackdown on activists and journalists. Until recently the Kingdom’s blanket suppression of human rights has largely been met with a deafening silence from the international community.

“Although exceptionally gruesome, the killing of Jamal Khashoggi is sadly not exceptional. It falls squarely within a long-standing pattern of repression and a crackdown on peaceful dissent which has only intensified since Mohammed bin Salman became Crown Prince.”

Earlier today, Amnesty International UK announced they will be intervening in a fresh legal challenge over the UK’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia, along with Human Rights Watch and Rights Watch UK.

The case, which was originally brought by Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), is seeking to test the legality of the Government’s decision to issue licences for arms exports to Saudi Arabia despite the risk of the weapons being misused in the conflict in Yemen.

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