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Saudi Arabia hails British High Court ruling on arms exports

12 Juillet 2017

According to reports, more than $3.5 billion of arms have been licensed to Saudi Arabia by the the last two years, despite claims that these weapons are being used in violations of International Humanitarian law in Yemen. "We have concluded that the material decisions of the secretary of state were lawful".

According to the court's ruling, Saudi Arabia has been and continues to be "genuinely committed to compliance with global Humanitarian law; and there was no "real risk" that there might be "serious violations" of worldwide law".

Some of the evidence in the case was presented in secret on national security grounds.

Human Rights groups did not welcome the ruling considering it as a setback to hold violators of global laws accountable.

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"It has been documented by United Nations reports, by aid groups on the ground and by credible human rights organisations", it said.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) had sought an order to block export licenses for British-made bombs, fighter jets and other munitions which it said the Saudi-led Arab coalition was using in a campaign against Iranian-backed Houthis in Yemen's civil war. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has described Yemen as the "largest humanitarian crisis in the world".

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 8,000 people have been killed in the conflict - a lot of them civilians.

Mark Goldring, Oxfam's chief executive said that despite the ruling in its favour, "there is a clear moral case for the government to suspend its sales".

Saudi Arabia hails British High Court ruling on arms exports