Freedom of Information Request regarding French arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
Armed Conflict in Yemen
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates
ECCHR, Amnesty International France and French investigative media NGO Disclose have initiated a legal challenge at the Paris administrative court ordering French customs authorities to disclose information relating to the export of military goods and training to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
This case invokes that the refusal of French customs to provide the claimants with information on these exports violates the French law on ‘access to administrative documents’, as well as the ‘right to receive information necessary to a free and public debate’ protected by the European Convention on Human Rights, Article 10.
The claimants argue that they have an interest in receiving this information due to the risk that these arms would be involved in the commission of serious IHL violations in the conflict in Yemen and the need for democratic scrutiny of France’s respect of its international human rights commitments. The claimants invoked evidence, including leaked classified government documents, reported on by Disclose on the use of French weapons in Yemen.
The claimants brought this challenge to the courts after two requests for information submitted to the French authorities and the French National Commission on Access to Administrative Information (CADA) were unsuccessful. Specifically, these requests sought to obtain export documents specifying the quantity, licence issue date and final destination of certain French goods reportedly used in the conflict in Yemen. This included aircraft, missiles, surveillance pods and other goods produced by French manufacturers including Dassault, MBDA France, Thales and Nexter.
This case is still in its early stages. Further information can be found in the press release here.
Contact the Claimants
This case was brought by European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).
If you would like to know more about this case, please get in touch with our primary contact Cannelle Lavitte (ECCHR) by email.