Human rights organisation, Amnesty International has announced to launch a campaign, named “Silence, on weapon!”, to condemn the sale of French weapons to nations that use them against civilians.
Emmanuel Macron’s government has been facing criticism for selling arms and military equipment to Saudi Arabia and other nations accused of war crimes or suppression of their citizens.
Through this campaign, Amnesty International will highlight serious failures of the French authorities in maintaining transparency and controlling the arms exports. The NGO seeks to persuade the government to ensure “transparency in its arms exports” and sign a petition launched during the campaign.
The campaign is also signed by DDB Paris, which denounces the immoral sale of French weapons by the government to countries complicit in war crimes, including Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt etc. Aggressively publicized on the streets and in magazines, the details of the campaign will be unveiled during the Fashion Week, and will rub shoulders with the visuals of major French fashion brands.
The vast media campaign entitled #Frencharms, will condemn the use of French weapons in war-torn Yemen and other MENA countries, “where human rights violations are committed and widely documented.”
Member of Parliament Bastien Lachaud said, “In Yemen, we have evidence of the lie of ministers on the use of French arms in the blockade that starves the population, in violation of international treaties that France has ratified. Ministers must take their responsibilities.”
Recently, Dutch investigative media “Lighthouse reports” along with its French partners, such as Disclose, Arte, Radio France, Médiapart, have denounced the use of Airbus helicopters by Indonesian army to repress West Papua, the use of Egyptian Rafale in Libya and the use of French weapons by Egyptian forces accused of abuses in Sinai. These exports have been documented, mostly dating back several years.
Member of the European Parliament Hannah Neumann tweeted, “More weapons do not make a region more secure. And #EUArms are a big part of the problem.”
Amnesty International and investigative media appear to be determined to increase the pressure on the French government to suspend the export of French weapons to Saudi Arabia and UAE, waging a war against Houthi rebels in Yemen since 2015, which has claimed tens of thousands of deaths, mostly civilians.