The surge in the United Kingdom’s arms sales to repressive regimes such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain truly shows that the Western countries are ready to sacrifice human rights whenever it comes to their own benefit, a political analyst says.
“Any Western country purports to support human rights. However, the reality is that their behavior doesn’t match what they are saying. Britain has increased arms export to Saudi Arabia after endless, numerous, and continuing reports of human rights violations in Yemen that are being done with weapons that the Saudis purchase from the US and the UK and instead of halting that and investigating that, they sell them more,” Ryan Dawson said in an interview with Press TV.
He added that the only way to stop the arms flow is to inform the people of the UK about the consequences of such opportunistic measures “because the only thing that can stop the UK are the people living in the UK.”
Official figures show that Britain’s arms exports to Saudi Arabia have surged 23-fold to nearly four billion pounds since 2015. The increase came after Saudi Arabia began its deadly aggression against Yemen in March that year. Over 12,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in Yemen ever since.
Britain’s arms exports to other regimes, listed by the Foreign Office as repressive, have also doubled over the same period, raising the total figure to five billion pounds. The new figures have sparked fears that arms sales to countries with questionable human rights records could further increase after Britain’s exit from the European Union.
Leading anti-arms group Campaign against Arms Trade said the surge in weapons sales shows the government’s political and military support for the target regimes.