NGOs denounce the Spanish government's complicity with the Saudi coalition for the war in Yemen after four years since the bloodiest conflict in history began.
Amnesty International, FundiPau, Greenpeace, Oxfam Intermón, and Save the Children have come together this week to demand that the Spanish government suspends the exportation of weapons to the Saudi coalition, who are intervening in Yemen.
Lourdes Vergés, head of communication at FundiPau explains, "It has been four years since the conflict in Yemen began, NGOs ask the Spanish government, as well as the political parties participating in the next election, to commit themselves to stop the sale of weapons to the Saudi coalition which is attacking the country of Yemen. "
In an act organized this Monday, March 25, in Madrid, these five NGOs have reported that "The Spanish State sold arms to the coalition formed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE for more than 2 billion euros from 2015 until June 2018." To denounce this, they have placed a counter that they have called 'The Counter of Shame'.
According to Vergés, apart from the enormous number of civil victims that have already caused the war, the United Nations considers the Yemeni conflict to be the most brutal humanitarian crisis currently happening. At the same time, according to the same organizations, every 25 minutes, between 2016 and November 2018, a person died in Yemen due to the conflict. "That is, at the same time that a person died, Spain authorized 30.000 euros for the sale of arms to the Saudi coalition," NGOs said in a statement.
During the ceremony, these organizations have pointed out that exports to the Saudi coalition are illegal because they violate the Spanish and international legislation. For this reason, Spain runs the risk of becoming an accomplice to the war crimes being committed.
"The sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia by the Spanish Government violates several national and international regulations, such as the Spanish Law on Trade in Weapons, the Common Position of the European Union, and the International Arms Trade Treaty," recites Vergés. She adds: "In all cases, the prohibition of selling weapons is put in place when there is a risk that is used to commit crimes against human rights. NGOs, we only ask for compliance with the law".