TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Italian unions refused to load electricity generators onto a Saudi Arabian ship with weapons on board in a protest against the regime’s ongoing war against Yemen.
The Bahri-Yanbu vessel loaded arms in the Belgian city of Antwerp earlier this month, but was prevented from picking up another consignment of weapons in the French port of Le Havre following protests by humanitarian groups.
Rights campaigners say the weapons contravene a UN treaty because they might be used against civilians in Yemen, where a Saudi-led military coalition is waging a war.
Unions in Genoa had tried to have the boat banned from Italy, but the ship docked just after dawn on Monday, met by protesters who gathered on the quay, Reuters reported.
“No to war” read one of their banners.
Union workers refused to load two generators aboard the boat, saying that although they were registered for civilian use, they could be instead directed to the Saudi-led war.
“We will not be complicit in what is happening in Yemen,” union leaders said in a statement. Port officials confirmed the generators were blocked on the quay, but said non-critical goods would be loaded.
The vessel was expected to leave Genoa for Jeddah, in Saudi Arabia, later in the day.
Yemen’s defenseless people have been under massive attacks by a Saudi-led coalition for more than four years but Riyadh has reached none of its objectives in Yemen so far.
Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out deadly airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement in an attempt to restore power to fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh.
According to a recent UN report, the combined death toll from the Saudi-led aggression and disease is 233,000, or 0.8 percent of Yemen’s 30 million-strong population.