A serving British soldier was arrested by the Royal Military Police on Monday after protesting in uniform against Britain’s support for Saudi Arabia in the Yemen war. Yemen-born Lance Corporal Ahmed Al-Batati was filmed in Whitehall outside the Ministry of Defence before being taken away by three military police officers.
Al-Batati joined the British Army in 2017. He described the British government as having “blood on its hands” with lucrative arms sales to Saudi Arabia. According to a report in the Telegraph, he is a member of the Royal Signals and vowed to blow a whistle every ten minutes to represent how often a child is said to be killed in the conflict.
“Yemen is facing the worst humanitarian crisis… due to years of war,” the soldier explained. “This proxy war is led by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is responsible for multiple air strikes, killing innocents, targeting hospitals and breaking international law.”
Britain’s arms sales to Saudi Arabia in 2018 amounted to 4.7 billion pounds, and it had frozen its arms supply in the face of human rights protests. However, the British government announced the resumption of weapons sales to Saudi Arabia last month.