Fer­rier to lead saudi arms trade de­bate

Rutherglen Reformer - - News - Dou­glas Dickie

Ruther­glen MP Mar­garet Fer­rier is set to lead a Com­mons de­bate on the UK’s arms trade with Saudi Ara­bia.

Ms Fer­rier will raise con­cerns to­day (Wed­nes­day) with the trade, point­ing to Saudi Ara­bia’s hu­man rights record, and ev­i­dence that UK­made bombs have been used in the on­go­ing Saudi-led war in Ye­men.

The de­bate has re­ceived the sup­port of or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Amnesty In­ter­na­tional, Cam­paign Against Arms Trade, Save the Chil­dren, and Ac­tion on Armed Vi­o­lence.

Ms Fer rier told the Re­former she had con­cerns that the trade in weapons may breach in­ter­na­tional hu­man­i­tar­ian law.

She is now call­ing on the UK Govern­ment to halt arms ex­ports to Saudi Ara­bia, and to con­demn hu­man rights abuses by the Saudi lead­er­ship. She said: “Saudi Ara­bia con­tin­ues to flout in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights laws by sen­tenc­ing to death po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists – some of them ju­ve­niles – which is part of a longer string of hu­man rights abuses.

“I have re­peat­edly raised the plight of Ali al- Nimr, Ab­dul­lah al- Za­her and Da­wood Hus­sein al-Ma­roon at a se­nior level, and hope this de­bate will al­low for other in­di­vid­ual cases to be high­lighted.

“In light of ev­i­dence which shows a UK- made clus­ter bomb has been found in Ye­men, the UK Govern­ment must launch an ur­gent in­ves­ti­ga­tion to clar­ify any UK in­volve­ment with the war in Ye­men.

“The SNP has re­peat­edly called on the Govern­ment to halt arms sales to Saudi Ara­bia, in light of le­gal ex­per­tise and a vote by the Euro­pean Par­lia­ment to ban arms sales to the coun­try.

“In our re­cent al­ter­na­tive Queen’s speech, the SNP’s West­min­ster group pro­posed a bill to reg­u­late the arms treaties which the UK Govern­ment may sign in the fu­ture. The To­ries must act on this rea­soned, sen­si­ble pro­posal if they wish to re­coup cred­i­bil­ity over for­eign pol­icy.”

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