May 03, 2018, 18:00
European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
Zossener Str. 55-58 (Staircase A, front house, 4th Floor), 10961 Berlin
Are European arms manufacturers like German company Rheinmetall AG and its Italian subsidiary RWM Italia S.p.A. complicit in deadly airstrikes in Yemen? This is the question Rheinmetall will have to face on 8 May 2018 at its Annual Shareholder Meeting in Berlin. Italian authorities are dealing with this issue since 17 April 2018, after the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), together with its Yemeni partner Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, and Italian group Rete Disarmo, submitted a criminal complaint to the Italian Public Prosecutor’s Office in Rome on the role of European actors in the Yemen war.
The complaint in Italy focuses on an airstrike alleged to have been carried out by the Saudi-led military coalition in October 2016 in Deir Al-Hajari, which killed a family of six, including the pregnant mother and four children. Remnants were found at the site, including a suspension lug manufactured by RWM Italia. ECCHR, Mwatana and Rete Disarmo call for an investigation into the criminal liability of the Italian authorities and RWM’s directors for arms exports to the Saudi-led coalition.
The Italian Minister of Defence publically maintained these bombs are not Italian. They are contracted by an American company and subcontracted to the German Rheinmetall, who has factories in Italy. Meanwhile German authorities sought to reject any responsibility on the basis that it was Italian authorities granting the license to export the weapons.
We invite you to a discussion of the problematic diversification of company structures in the arms manufacturing sector. One consequence of this diversification is a lack of clarity about who controls the activities of arms manufacturers and traders and establishes their responsibility in case of human rights violations.
The event will be held in English. The venue is wheelchair accessible.
Please register below until 2 May 2018.