Raytheon is one of the UK’s largest arms manufacturers. It makes ‘smart’ bombs, and sells them to, among others, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia then uses them to commit war crimes. Raytheon makes a lot of profit from this.
The UK has a very weak system of controlling arms exports, but one key part of the limited system we do have in place is parliament’s Committee on Arms Export Control (CAEC). This committee asked Raytheon to attend its meeting to answer questions about its arms sales to Saudi Arabia and alleged war crimes.
We don’t believe it’s acceptable for British companies to make weapons and sell them to murderous regimes. We think it’s morally wrong to profit from death. Even if you disagree with us on the arms trade though, everyone can agree that those involved must be democratically accountable. Snubbing parliament is not acceptable.
That’s why we’re asking you to sign our open letter to Raytheon, telling them to listen to parliament.
We are concerned by atrocities committed by both sides in the armed
conflict in Yemen, and whilst some of us may have differing views about the
legality of the conflict at all, we are all appalled by credible and well-
evidenced reports that UK-made Paveway IV munitions have been used in
attacks on civilians and civilian infrastructure.
Up to 12th March 2019, of the five alleged war crimes committed with UK-
made bombs, four of these used Raytheon Paveway IVs.
In view of the failure of the Saudi Government to properly investigate war
crimes allegations, an increased moral and legal burden is placed on the
exporting state to ensure that arms exports are not used to commit war
In the UK, this obligation is being discharged through the UK Government’s
Committee on Arms Export Control (CAEC), drawn from across Parliament.
However, Raytheon has refused to give evidence by consistently declining to
This does the company no favours and reinforces the perception that the
company cares more about sales, profits and not upsetting its biggest
customers than preventing war crimes. The attempt to avoid scrutiny and
accountability to Parliament on issues of international law is morally
We therefore call on Raytheon to send senior officers of the company and
technical experts to provide testimony to CAEC.