Thousands in Yemen have died from aircraft and arms supplied by BAE Systems
Environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) has been accused of greenwashing after accepting cash from one of Europe’s biggest weapons manufacturers.
The United Yemeni Community in Scotland has called the cash from BAE Systems “dirty money” and accused it of being “unethical”.
War in Yemen, waged by the Saudis, has caused untold hardship as well as taking thousands of innocent lives in the country.
Many western arms companies supply Saudia Arabia’s military with weapons, with BAE System supplying attack aircraft.
The company also supplies training to the Saudi military.
Despite this KSB recently accepted £100,000 from BAE for its campaign to clean up the Clyde in Glasgow.
Dr Shawki al-Dubaee, an academic who fled Yemen in 2015, said: “The dirty money for the greenwashing, we will not accept that. We are not the people who will be silent.”
He added: “Because Keep Scotland Beautiful is an environmental charity who have and continue to support social justice aims and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, I would argue the organisational aims and objectives are clearly at odds with a weapons manufacturer.
“It is worth noting that the weapons trade is one of the industries that are set to profit from climate crisis because of increased global conflict, so they are a company that benefits from more environmental problems. Therefore, there is a clear conflict of interest.”
“We are here in the UK because of this weapons maker.
“We stayed under a bad regime for a long time and we know exactly what a double standard is.”
Keep Scotland Beautiful’s campaign aims to raise awareness of marine litter and “inspire action” to improve the problem in Strathclyde.
Barry Fisher, its chief executive officer, said the charity was “delighted to welcome this significant funding from BAE Systems” at the time of its announcement.
However in response to the criticism he said: “We acknowledge and respect the views expressed.
“Keep Scotland Beautiful, like many Scottish charities, has developed links with, and secured funding from, a wide variety of private sector organisations.
“These businesses understand their responsibilities to the environment and are already taking action on sustainability within their own organisations – they support us by providing volunteers, assistance with campaigns and funding for specific activities.
“By working with these businesses on specific activities we have increased our ability to make a real difference in communities across Scotland – their assistance has enabled us to reach new audiences, fund innovative solutions to environmental problems and support action by local communities to deal with issues that affect their daily lives.”