Ferrier to lead saudi arms trade debate
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.”