Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – ABC reported, The Defence Department has granted dozens of weapons export permits over the past two years to nations accused of mass human rights violations and war crimes.
The ABC can reveal approval is routinely given for Australian-made lethal technology to be sent to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, but the federal government insists careful consideration has been given to each decision.
Official figures from Defence confirm 200 permits for “military or dual-use” exports were issued in total for the three nations between 2021 and 2022, although during the same period thousands of approvals were also given to countries such as the US and New Zealand.
Greens senator David Shoebridge, who has pursued details of the deals during budget estimates, claims Australia is doing business with “some of the worst human rights abusers on the planet”.
“Australian weapons are helping to fuel the brutal war in Yemen, causing the world’s largest humanitarian catastrophe forcing millions of children into hunger,” he said.
“It’s a war on children and these shocking new weapons export figures show Australia has blood on its hands.”
“What is concerning is just how little transparency there is on Australia’s defence exports. We’re told almost nothing,” Senator Shoebridge says.
Human rights activists have long accused Saudi Arabia and the UAE of committing mass atrocities while leading a coalition fighting a war against Houthi rebels in Yemen, one of the poorest nations in the Middle East.