After three years, Belgium is violating the Arms Trade Treaty, denounces Amnesty

Friday, 02 June 2017 20:03
After three years, Belgium is violating the Arms Trade Treaty, denounces Amnesty © Belga
In the context of Saudi Arabia's weapons trade relations, the Walloon Region does not respect the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) ratified three years ago by Belgium, denounced Amnesty International Belgium by press release on Friday.

"The Walloon Region continues to sell its weapons to the leaders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who, in addition to human rights violations that it commits on its own soil, is the reason for the numerous attacks against civilians and civilian property as part of the war it leads In Yemen", said Philippe Hensmans, director of the French-speaking section of Amnesty International Belgium, which calls for the suspension of arms exports to the Wahhabi kingdom.

The ATT states that all transactions must be assessed according to strict criteria, including the risk that such weapons may be used to commit the most serious crimes, including attacks on civilians.

Amnesty also calls for a review of the Walloon decree regulating the arms trade with a view to putting in place an "effective and transparent" control regime as required by Article 5§5 of the ATT. The organisation requests that the Walloon Region provide clear information on the precise quantity of arms exported, their end users and actual exports by destination and type of weapon, as well as their financial value.

The petition calling for the freezing of arms sales to Saudi Arabia, launched in mid-May, has already collected some 13,000 signatures.

Christopher Vincent
The Brussels Times
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