A British soldier of Yemeni descent is under investigation by the Royal Military Police for protesting the arms sales to Saudi Arabia and ongoing war in Yemen.
According to Declassified U.K., the British soldier, who was identified as Ahmed Al-Babti, said: “I’d rather sleep peacefully in a cell than stay silent for a paycheck.”
Babati was reportedly filmed outside the Ministry of Defense building in London on Monday before he was apprehended by the Royal Military Police.
Declassified U.K. said the Ministry of Defense has not commented on the matter.
However, the publication said Babati was filmed in his combat fatigues, saying that he was born in Yemen and joined the British Army in 2017.
“Yemen is facing the worst humanitarian crisis… due to years of war. This proxy war is led by Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia are responsible for multiple airstrikes, killing innocents, targeting hospitals and breaking international law. Saudi Arabia are also responsible for blocking aid from going into the country,” Babati said.
“This has left 80% of the population in need of emergency aid. That’s 24 million people in need of emergency aid. Yet our government continues to arm and support Saudi Arabia. We tried to make our voices heard by protesting in London, Manchester, Liverpool and many other cities. We’ve even tried to email our MPs, but clearly our words mean nothing to Boris Johnson,” he continued.
“And it’s clear this government has blood on their hands, so with that being said I refuse to continue my military service until the arms trade with Saudi Arabia has been put to an end. It is reported that a child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen, so I’ll be standing outside 10 Downing Street blowing a whistle every 10 minutes so that they can hear every time a child dies due to a war they continue to arm and support,” he added.
Police have launched an investigation after al-Babati staged a public protest opposite Downing Street.
— Robert Carter (@Bob_cart124) August 25, 2020
Saudi Arabia, along with the United Arab Emirates and several other Arab states, have been actively intervening in Yemen, often carrying out airstrikes over several densely populated cities, including the capital, Sana’a, and historical areas inside the Sa’ada Governorate.