Revd Daniel Woodhouse and Sam Walton have been found not guilty at Burnley Magistrates Court
Revd Daniel Woodhouse, a Methodist Minister, and Sam Walton who works with the Quakers in Britain have today been found not guilty by District Judge James Clarke. Daniel and Sam, armed with a hammer, attempted to reach aircraft that were bound for Saudi Arabia when they were apprehended at BAE Warton in January 2017.
Over the past two years thousands of civilians have been killed in Yemen as a direct result of the targeting policies of the war planes of the Saudi Arabian led coalition that continue to attack civilian areas. The planes used include Tornado and Typhoon aircraft supplied by BAE Systems.
The United Nations has called for an independent investigation into possible war crimes. Evidence would seem to suggest that there would be a clear risk that further exports of planes might be used in a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. This would contravene the UK’s regulations around export licences and as well as our obligations under international law. Yet to date the UK Government have refused to suspend export licences pending an international investigation.
An initial report of the judge’s verdict can be found here
Paul Parker, the Recording Clerk for Quakers in Britain, said “Quakers value all human life and view war as failure” he said. “Sam Walton and Daniel Woodhouse were engaged in attempting to highlight the destruction of Yemen through Saudi Arabian bombing. We deplore the continued UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia.”
The Methodist Church has also condemned the continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia. A resolution was agreed at Methodist Conference and the President and Vice President of the Methodist Church have written to the Foreign Secretary.
See also the Joint Public Issues Team article Good for Us: The UK Arms Industry and UK Foreign Policy available to the highest bidder – Peter Oborne