Some days, a story about violence somewhere in the world is so horrific, I almost can’t bear to finish the article. I want to turn away. Do you ever feel that way? 

There were gut-wrenching reports yesterday from Human Rights Watch about Saudi border guards massacring hundreds of Ethiopian migrants and asylum seekers. It’s expected that the shootings may continue to this day.[1]

Once again, it is the avalanche of military largesse the US offers to Saudi Arabia that is underpinning human rights crimes. President Biden once promised to make Saudi Arabia a “pariah”[2], now the administration is in negotiations to offer this reckless and brutal government formal security guarantees.[3]   

Can you contact Congress today and ask your Senators to speak out on the egregious violation of human rights and to cosponsor legislation to force the administration to address Saudi’s human rights violations?

We can’t turn away. It’s our arms and our policies that help fuel Saudi aggressions like the war in Yemen, these anti-migrant killings, and Saudi Arabia’s other well-documented oppressions towards women, the LGBTQIA+ community, journalists and many others. 

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) had already introduced legislation to force the administration to report on Saudi human rights violations. This legislation, invokes section 502B of the Foreign Assistance Act to force examination of U.S. aid. By debating this on the Senate floor and forcing the administration to respond, Congress can help reevaluate the US/Saudi relationship. That can – and should – lead to cutting off “security assistance” to that country. U.S. law bans the provision of U.S. military aid to any government that “engages in a consistent pattern of gross violations of internationally recognized human rights.”

Please contact your Senators today!

If Saudi Arabia does not fall under this standard, what country ever would? It’s time to enforce these laws so that our arms and other aid do not continue to be used to kill civilians in Yemen, shoot down Ethiopian migrants, and oppress Saudi citizens. 

Ask your Senators to support Senator Murphy’s  S. Res. 109 to require the administration to report on Saudi human rights abuses, and to speak out against the brutal killings of Ethiopian migrants as well. 

As you know, we’ve been working for years to end the humanitarian crisis in Yemen which was fueled by Saudi intervention that literally could not have happened without U.S. support. That crisis is continuing. We’ll be asking you to take further action on ending the war in Yemen soon. Taking action today on S. Res 107 could really support holding Saudi Arabia accountable. 

Thank you for all you do for peace, 

Jon Rainwater
Executive Director
Peace Action

[1]Saudi Arabia: Mass Killings of Migrants at Yemen Border, Human Rights Watch, August 21 2023
[2]Biden to Travel to Saudi Arabia, Ending Its ‘Pariah’ Status, New York Times, June 2, 2022
[3]Biden Should Not Extend Security Guarantees to Saudi Arabia, National Interest, July 25. 2023