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RWM Italia

03.07.2019 ( Last modified: 07.04.2021 )
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Facts

On 8 October 2016, air strikes launched by the coalition led by Saudi Arabia in Deir Al-Hajari, Yemen, killed six civilians. In the place of those strikes, a suspension lug manufactured by the RWM Italia S.p.A was found. Other remnants indicated use of a guided bomb. Testimonies of eye witnesses stipulate that there was no legitimate target in the vicinity of the house (inhabited by civilians), targeted by the strike.

 

Legal Procedure

On 17 April 2018, a joint criminal complaint by the European Centre for Constitutional and Human Right (ECCHR), Yemen-based Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, and Italian-based Rete Italiana per Il Disarmo, in cooperation with Osservatorio Permanente sulle Armi Leggere e le Politiche di Sicurezza e Difesa (O.P.A.L), was filed with the Public Prosecutor in Rome. The Prosecutor has opened an investigation which is still ongoing.

The complaint concerns the strike in in Deir Al-Hajari by the coalition, launched on 8 October 2016. According to the complaint, the directors of RWM Italia and officials of the National Authority for the Armament Licensing and Controls (UAMA) would be responsible for the export of at least some of the weapons used in the strikes carried out by Saudi Arabia or another member state of the coalition led by Saudi Arabia. Despite the often expressed concerns about the significant civilian casualties and violations of international humanitarian law perpetrated by this coalition led by Saudi Arabia, the exporters as well as the authorities failed to take appropriate measures. Arms export to the coalition countries has not ceased and the UAMA continues to license the transfer of those arms manufactured in Italy to the coalition countries.

In October 2019, the Italian Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome requested a dismissal of the case . The three organizations who filed the complaint appealed this decision.

Following the dismissal of the case by the Italian Public Prosecutor in Rome and the subsequent appeal against the dismissal, the appeal hearing was scheduled for February 2020. However, due to the covid-19 pandemic, the hearing was postponed until 2021.

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