British soldier arrested for protesting in uniform against Yemen war

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-Babati was filmed in Whitehall outside the Ministry of Defence before being taken away by three military police officers.

Ahmed al-Batati, a 21-year-old lance corporal from Sheffield, condemned the British government and said it had “blood on its hands” for its continued support of the kingdom, Middle East Eye reported.

Images posted online showed Batati, who was born in Yemen, standing in Whitehall in his military uniform with a placard that said he “refused” to continue serving in the UK military until it ended all arms sales to Riyadh.

Al-Babati 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.”

Despite the devastating five-year war which has left 80 per cent of the population in need of humanitarian aid, Al-Babati pointed out, “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.”

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