| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

NGOs bring case against French customs over weapons exports

Two non-governmental organizations (NGOs) said that they had filed a legal complaint with the Paris administrative court, asking the court to force French customs to release information on war weapons shipments, particularly to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement, Amnesty International France and the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) claimed they launched the lawsuit after French customs refused to release documents related to the prospective sale of weapons in Yemen.

The two NGOs expressed reservations over the deployment of French weaponry in the war.

In a statement, they added, “This lack of openness is a serious impediment to legislative, judicial, and democratic oversight over French arms exports.”

According to NGOs, the plaintiffs included the investigative media outlet Disclose.

When Reuters contacted French customs, they received no quick response.

In 2015, a Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen, assisting government forces in their struggle against the Houthis, who are allied with Iran. The battle, which has lasted more than six years, is largely seen as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

U.N. investigators said last year weapons provided by Western powers and Iran to the warring sides in Yemen were fueling the conflict, marked by deadly Saudi-led coalition air strikes and Houthi shelling.

  • Reuters