Diversification v. Accountability: The Case of German Arms Manufacturer Rheinmetall AG and the War in Yemen


03.05.2018, 18:00 Uhr

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
Zossener Str. 55-58 Aufgang D 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. Italian authorities publically denied any responsibility since the company manufacturing these weapons is German; 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.

  • Bonyan Gamal (Mwatana Organization for Human Rights)
  • Mauro Meggiolaro (Fondazione Finanza Etica, Shareholders for Change)
  • Sevim Dağdelen (Member of German Parliament – Die Linke)
  • Philipp Grüll (ARD journalist)
  • Linde Bryk (ECCHR)

moderated by Christian Schliemann (ECCHR)

Learn more about the criminal complaint on the Deir Al-Hajari air strike: ECCHR/Yemen

The event will be held in English. The venue is wheelchair accessible.

Please register below until 2 May 2018.



New Digital Methods for Documenting Human Rights Violations in Closed Societies


24.04.2018, 19:00 Uhr

European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR)
Zossener Str. 55-58 Aufgang D 10961 Berlin

On 24 April 2018, the Syrian Archive will launch the Chemical Weapons Database. This is the first publicly available database of open source content documenting chemical weapon attacks in Syria...


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