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Arms Trade: Saudi Arabia

Question for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

UIN 105331, tabled on 19 October 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, if he will make an assessment of (a) whether the beating, electrocution, suspension in painful positions, sexual violence and other forms of ill-treatment committed against detainees of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen at (i) the Mar'ib political security prison and (ii) elsewhere constitute a pattern indicating the use of physical and mental torture against prisoners detained during conflict prohibited by Article 19 of the Geneva Conventions and (b) the implications for her policies on arms export controls of the conclusion of that initial assessment.

Answered on

27 October 2020

We take very seriously all allegations of breaches of the Geneva Conventions. The UK urges the parties to the conflict to investigate these allegations and take action to promote and protect international humanitarian law. The Government takes its export responsibilities seriously and assesses all export licences in accordance with strict licensing criteria. We will not issue any export licences where to do so would be inconsistent with these criteria. Whenever the UK receives reports of alleged violations of international humanitarian law in connection with countries to whom arms and military equipment are licensed for export, we routinely seek information from all credible sources, including from Non Governmental Organisations and international organisations.