Independent and Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN)
MEDIA RELEASE               FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 1st August 2019
Australia Allowing the Transfer of Weapons to Saudi Coalition Bombing Yemen

Australia is facilitating and subsidising the transfer of weapons from Australian companies direct to the Saudi-US Coalition which is bombing Yemen.

The ABC this week revealed photographs of shipments going direct to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, transferred by a US transnational intermediary transport company.

Australia has facilitated the transfer of weapons on the basis that the weapons are not used in Yemen however Annette Brownlie the chair of the Independent Peaceful Australia Network (IPAN)  states “What we know is that there is no process for knowing exactly where the weapons are used and how.”

“There are no end-user certificate arrangements. And we know that the UK have now suspended sales to Saudi Arabia. The UK High Court ruled that the UK Government had incorrectly argued that it was not required to look at past behaviour in assessing the risk of future violations when granting an export licence.”

“We know the past behaviour of the Saudis that they do not hold ‘world’s best citizen status’, and it is well documented that UK and US weapons have previously been used for human rights abuses in Yemen”, said Ms Brownlie.

“Australia is bound by the Arms Trade Treaty which limits sales to countries which might use the weapons in ways which violate International Humanitarian Law.

IPAN considers it very strange that Government correspondence in response to an FOI request by Kellie Tranter, lawyer and human rights activist, for risk assessments conducted for military exports to Saudi Arabia between 1 January 2016 to 31 December 2017 confirmed that no documents existed and yet 16 permits were granted in that period. “

The Northern Territory is almost certainly implicated in the war in Yemen through it’s use of US intelligence which is monitored and processed by US and Australian operators at Pine Gap. Pine Gap has been demonstrated through the Snowden documents to be implicated in the identification of bombing targets in US wars.

“This includes  people who are targeted for extra-judicial assassinations.” said Ms Brownlie. “Assassinations are by definition outside national legal systems, crossing national borders in such a way that even former Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser criticised as putting Australia operatives at risk of prosecution by association.”

“Australia should not be fighting US wars. And Australia should not be sending weapons to Saudi Arabia, with Electro Optic Systems disgusting claims of enhanced ‘lethality’,” said Ms Brownlie.

This is the peace agenda that IPAN will be promoting at its forthcoming national conference, Australia at the Crossroads, Time for an Independent Foreign Policy, in Darwin, 2-4th August 2019, along with recognizing the global and local environmental impacts of military activities.

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Media Interviews:  Annette Brownlie   0431 597 256
IPAN Media Liaison Jonathan Pilbrow 0403611815

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