This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
ANTI-ARMS-TRADE campaigners are demanding answers from the government over the legality of a Saudi weapons ship that was due to dock at Tilbury today.
The Bahri Yanbu, which has ferried hundreds of millions of pounds’ worth of arms to the Gulf state, is stopping off this week at five European countries.
The ship has been given a licence to dock by the British government. But lawyers from Leigh Day, who represent CAAT, are questioning whether this could be in breach of a court order made last year that banned the government from issuing new licences for arms bound to Saudi Arabia, which is deeply involved in a bloody civil war in neighbouring Yemen.
The case, which was brought by CAAT, found that arms sales to the country had been unlawful because Tory ministers had not properly assessed the risk to civilians in Yemen. Letting the Bahri Yanbu to enter British waters may not be consistent with the ruling, the lawyers claim.
CAAT activists, who fear that the ship is carrying arms that could be used against civilians in Yemen, held a protest at Tilbury port today.
The campaign group’s Andrew Smith said: “Arms-dealing governments like the one in the UK have played a central role in strengthening the Saudi dictatorship and fuelling the bombing of Yemen.
“If they want to do the right thing for people in Yemen then they must end all arms exports to the Saudi regime and cease all support for this awful war.”
CAAT’s protest is part of a European-wide effort to block the weapons vessel from docking. The ship is no longer stopping in Antwerp, Belgium, and campaigners plan to block French arms being loaded onto the ship at Cherbourg tomorrow.
According to Amnesty International, the Bahri Yanbu was carrying $47 million (£36m) worth of US-manufactured weapons parts during its last voyage to Europe in 2019.
The Saudi coalition’s air war in Yemen has killed and injured thousands of civilians, including in attacks that allegedly violated international humanitarian law.
Leigh Day has given the government 24 hours to disclose information on the licence. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had not responded to a request for comment by the time the Star went to print.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.