Programmes on Sky News and the BBC have shown bombing, mass starvation and collapse of medical facilities in Yemen. British firms have supplied military hardware and British military officers have helped to direct the Saudi military campaign.
In October the Labour Party submitted a parliamentary motion which opened: “That this House supports efforts to bring about a cessation of hostilities and provide humanitarian relief in Yemen, and notes that the country is now on the brink of famine; condemns the reported bombings of civilian areas…”
The government voted against this disloyalty to our ‘special friend’ Saudi Arabia, as did some Labour MPs, including Gisela Stuart and Shabana Mahmood.
Hall Green MP Roger Godsiff and human rights lawyer Kim Sharif will speak at this public meeting in Sparkhill organised by Stop the War Coalition, which does not support either side in Yemen’s civil war but condemns outside intervention and bombing by Saudi Arabia with the support of British and American military personnel.
Roger Godsiff has raised six concerns in parliament after the government – via Tobias Ellwood, a minister at the department – issued ‘corrections’ to six statements on the Yemen crisis dating back almost six months:
- The government admitted issuing six statements misleading parliament on whether Saudi Arabia committed war crimes in Yemen.
- Saudi Arabia is in fact committing war crimes by targeting civilians and non-military infrastructure in Yemen.
- The UK is continuing to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia and these weapons may be used to commit war crimes in Yemen by the Saudi regime, which is a dictatorship with no regard for democracy or human rights.
- Continuing to sell arms to the Saudi regime both enables and condones violence against civilians.
- The UK’s standing in the world is diminished by these actions and strongly urging the government to urgently reconsider its arms export policy to Saudi Arabia.
- And the safety of civilians in Yemen and the UK’s reputation in the world should be prioritised over the profits of arms companies.