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UN should address Saudi rights violations in Yemen: Journalist

A Yemeni man walks across the rubble of buildings on September 17, 2015 which were destroyed by air strikes carried out by Saudi warplanes in the capital Sana'a. ©AFP

Press TV has interviewed Tony Gosling, an investigative journalist in London to ask for his take as to a UN report about the Saudi human rights violation in Yemen and the UK’s justification for selling weapons to the kingdom.

What follows is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: Certainly, the UK government is now in quite an awkward position because it insists that it sells arms to states which do not carry out human rights violations, but clearly these Saudis are.  

Gosling: Yes, you are quite right. And today in the Houses of Parliament here in London, the prime minister, David Cameron, was talking about how the British are the ‘strictest in the world when it comes to dishing out arms licenses’ and that ‘President Hadi’s government in Yemen is a legitimate regime.’ He does not actually mention, he never mentions, that when he stood as president, Hadi was the only candidate; there was no real election. And also he does not mention the fact that in 2014 over in Syria, we had another election where President Assad was legitimately elected with some competition against him in fact. And so this total hypocrisy going on here in Britain and I think actually the British people themselves are getting more and more skeptical about whether or not to believe what Cameron and Hammond are saying because actually you are quite right; there is a horrific load of human rights violations. Just today I noticed 15 more airstrikes on the capital and I wonder whether a UN resolution should not be presented, which would give anti-aircraft missiles, anti-aircraft equipment to the Yemenis to stop this carnage.

Press TV: So with all these media coverage, where do we go from now?  Will the UK government maybe act and stop its arms sales to Saudis?

Gosling: I can tell you what is happening here in Britain. It is both the public and the opposition, it was raised by the leader of opposition, actually Yemen today in the House of Commons, [that] are piling the pressure and, slowly but surely, mentioned it in our main BBC, News Night program as well. So this is in parliament and in the national mainstream media. The pressure is beginning to come onto Cameron and Hammond to stop some of these arms licenses.

There is not any real…in Britain, very good understating of where Yemen is, what is happening, but that is slowly changing. And slowly but surely, we are realizing actually President Hadi, who Cameron calls a legitimate president, is actually just the puppet of the West, and people have had enough of him. You know this is a genuine popular uprising by the Houthis and they basically say ‘look, what we really want is another election with another candidate that represents ordinary people.’ Surely, that is what the UN should be pushing for and all civilized countries around the world want to see that.

Now, why this is happening from the Saudi royal family? I think it is becoming a very fragile regime. Obviously, it is a royalty; there is no proper elections over there and it is worth noting that there are some rather strange activities going on over in Saudi Arabia. I mean for example the Saudi royal family, Salman bin Abdul Aziz, his defense minister, is sponsoring a remote-viewing conference. I do not know how this goes down in Islam, but over in this part of world most people look upon this kind of thing so that you can supposedly see your way around the world and see what is going on in the opposite side of the world. This is the stuff that went out with the ark; this is actually on the verge of madness and that is where the Saudis it seems to coming from with this attack on Yemen which must be stopped immediately from wherever, probably the UN. But I would imagine that the Americans will probably block some kind of resolution at the UN which would allow some kind of air defenses to be brought to Yemen to stop these air attacks and I am absolutely ashamed as a British person that British arms companies are profiting from the arms, the munitions that have been used to kill innocent people. 8,000 now dead, 25,000 injured and millions made homeless in these acts of aggression. The UN has got to pull its finger out.

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