Tory MEPs once again backed the Saudi regime in the European Parliament in a key vote today, failing to back an EU arms embargo. The parliament as a whole overwhelmingly backed the calls, and supported the resolution.
Wajid Khan MEP, member of the European Parliament foreign affairs committee, said:
“It is disgraceful that the Tories have once again failed to back an arms embargo – last time they voted against and this time they abstained, even after the shocking details have emerged of the brutal torture, murder and dismemberment of Jamal Khashoggi. Their actions make a mockery of Theresa May’s condemnations - we can now see her words for what they are: meaningless, disingenuous and designed to deceive.
“The accounts of what happened in the Saudi consulate are truly shocking and stomach-turning, and we urge Turkey to ask the UN to initiate a credible and transparent investigation into this case.”
Wajid Khan MEP added:
“I am proud that the European Parliament has made a clear and powerful statement that freedom of expression is worth standing up for.
“As journalists around the world are increasingly threatened, attacked and killed - from Ecuador to the USA to within our own borders in Bulgaria, Slovakia and Malta - it is essential to stand up for the right to report freely.
“I am proud that Europe is standing up for journalists today. I am particularly proud of the international and cross-party nature condemnation of this behaviour.
“Only by taking a stand together can we reverse this dystopian trend of killing journalists. Only by taking a stand together will we create an environment where journalists are free to speak truth to power.
“Only by taking a stand together will we show the Saudi regime, and anyone who would silence a journalist for doing their job, that “business as usual” is no longer an option.
“I am glad to hear that Germany will pause its arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and I urge the UK and all EU countries to do the same - but given the actions of Tory MEPs, I fear that this is a forlorn hope.”
Thursday, October 25, 2018
Notes to Editors:
- The resolution can be found here.