The defense industry commends businesses accused of violating the protection of human rights.

By | October 7, 2019

Electric Optic Systems (EOS) Defense Systems were given the’ Defense Export Business of the Year ‘ award at a gala dinner in Canberra last week, industry group Defense Connect.

The Australian Government has not ensured that our export policies and procedures meet current international legal standards in the past two years, because it rushed to increase security exportations.

Companies such as EOS have been licensed, which violates both the letter and spirit of the Arms Trade Treaty that Australia helped to negotiate and is obligated to uphold, to sell weapons systems and components to Saudi Arabia.

That treaty prohibits the transfer of conventional weapons to countries that are likely to use them to facilitate serious human rights violations at home or abroad.

Because military operations against Houthi forces started in 2015, Saudi Arabia has been accused of breaking human rights in Yemen.

Dateline has seen images of EOS weapons systems that looked like bootloads pending shipment to the Saudi ministry of the interior last month from the Sydney International Airport.

This refers to the ABC images released in August, claiming that EOS sold arms to the armed forces of the United Arab States.

Saudi Arabia has a poor record of being the end-user of all guns it buys. Recent reports indicate that EU weapons were sold at the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen by the Sudanese genocidal Janjaweed militia’s successor. US weapons ended up in the hands of affiliated groups of Al-Qaeda.

The arms trade treaty bans the selling of arms where such weapons can be used for serious human rights and/or humanitarian law abuses or encourage them. Saudi Arabia is the leader of the Yemen war coalition.

On average every week in the past year, 100 civilians were killed or wounded. Around 4.3 million people have fled their homes since the beginning of the conflict.  The United Nations released last month a report by a panel of prominent human rights experts.

It also called on countries such as Australia, despite the “threat” they have used for committing or encouraging serious violations of international humanitarian and human rights legislation, to stop the sale of weapons to the Yemeni competing parties.