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Saudi Arabian cargo ship met with anti-war protest at Italian port

Max Civili
Press TV, Rome

The Saudi Arabian state-owned cargo ship Bahri Yanbu has docked in the northern Italy's port of Genoa, received by a group of anti-war activists and port workers as the ship threatens to flout international law yet again.

In May 2019, tens of millions of dollars’ worth of military aircraft parts were loaded on the Saudi-Arabian cargo ships in European ports, including that of Genoa.

Rights groups have denounced that those weapons were part of lucrative arms deals that have been fueling the unlawful killing of civilians and a dire humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

International groups, including Amnesty International, believe Italy is among those states that have failed to live up to their international obligations to halt arms transfers for use in war crimes and serious human rights violations. The Italian law No. 185 passed in 1990 bans the export of weapons in countries in a state of war.

In May last year, Italian union workers refused to load electricity generators onto the Bahri Yanbu in protest against the war in Yemen.

According to a 2019 Italian parliament report on weaponry, the value of Italian arms exports to Riyadh fell from almost 430 million euros in 2016 to 13 million euros in 2018. However, Amnesty International has said that its requests to obtain an official statement about arms sales to Saudi Arabia from Italy's council of ministers have gone unheard.

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