How to Prevent Despots from Committing War Crimes!
Posted by feww on January 30, 2017
Activists ‘trying to disarm’ Saudi-bound warplanes arrested
Two UK activists have been arrested at BAE Systems site in Lancashire, while reportedly attempting to disarm and prevent Saudi-bound warplanes from taking off and used to commit war crimes in Yemen.
London Quaker and activist Sam Walton and Methodist minister Rev Dan Woodhouse have been arrested after entering a BAE Systems site in Warton, Lancashire this morning with the intention of disarming planes bound for Saudi Arabia. They issued this statement:
‘Two people have attempted to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi Arabia from BAE Warton
‘On the morning of Sunday 29 January two people attempted to disarm warplanes bound for Saudi Arabia from BAE Systems Warton site.
The aim is to stop Saudi Arabia having more planes with which to commit war crimes with in Yemen. The intention is to save innocent lives and prevent war crimes, by physically disabling warplanes.
The action comes exactly 21 years after three women entered the same base to disarm a plane being sent to Indonesia to be used in the genocide in East Timor.
They are being held on suspicion of criminal damage.
Reverend Dan Woodhouse, a Methodist Minister in Leeds said: “By stopping or even delaying Saudi Arabia having more planes with which to bomb Yemen this action will save innocent lives and prevent war crimes. We are clear that the real crime taking place is arming despots, who frequently use arms on their own people, are known to use torture and the death penalty, and who will almost certainly be using the planes sent from BAE Warton to continue to commit crimes against humanity.”
Sam Walton, a Quaker from London said: “We do not take these steps lightly, but we have no other option. We have been active in opposing the arms trade to Saudi Arabia for years, and in the face of wilful government denial that there is a problem with arming Saudi, including willingness to suspend our own due process of law, and complete unwillingness to consider stopping arming Saudi Arabia, we must take this action.”
Eurofighter Typhoons and Tornadoes sold to Saudi Arabia are being used on combat missions in Yemen, where Saudi Arabia is committing war crimes. Saudi Arabia has been leading bombing missions in Yemen since March 2015. BAE also supplies Saudi Arabia with Hawk jets, used to train the Royal Saudi Air Force. Typhoons and Hawk jets are known to be on site being prepared for imminent delivery to Saudi Arabia.
The UK government has refused to stop supplying arms to Saudi Arabia and has licensed well over £3 billion of arms sales since the conflict began. A legal analysis from Matrix Chambers found that the UK government is breaking international, EU and UK law by supplying arms to Saudi Arabia in the context of its military intervention and bombing campaign in Yemen.