GENEVA – Geneva Council for Human Rights and Justice (GCHRJ) welcomed the decision of the Swiss Federal Council (representing the government in the country) to stop arms exports to Saudi Arabia, calling the rest of the European countries to take a similar position.
GCHRJ appreciated in a press release the Swiss government’s decision as a great victory of the victims of war crimes committed by Saudi Arabia in its three-year war against Yemen.
As the council added, the decision also represents a victory for the European values in addressing human rights violations committed in Saudi Arabia through the arrest and targeting of opponents, human rights activists and preachers.
GCHRJ Middle East official, Salma Agam, welcomed the role of the Swiss parties, which launched a popular campaign to pressure the country’s government to prevent the reduction of arms export restrictions and allow Swiss companies to sell arms to countries at war, including Saudi Arabia.
Agam confirmed that Switzerland’s decision to stop the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia is a response to its legal and moral responsibilities and a great bias to human rights laws.
Trade between Switzerland and Saudi Arabia is estimated at $ 2.250 billion a year. Last year, Switzerland sold war materials to Saudi Arabia worth 4.8 million francs, making Riyadh a top-class customer for the Swiss arms industry.
Geneva Council for Human Rights and Justice urged EU countries to stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia due to its involvement in committing war crimes against civilians in Yemen and its internal violations of human rights necessitates.
GCHRJ also highlighted the black record of Saudi Arabia in human rights and the perpetration of horrific violations of detaining and targeting human rights activists, journalists and dissidents, highlighting the nature of the dictatorial regime that governs the two countries.
The Council said that Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the murder of Saudi opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in his Turkish consulate in Istanbul in October and the subsequent international criticism put the positions of European countries at stake and test its ability to take serious and immediate action against Riyadh by stopping arms shipment at least.