A UK peace activist attempted to put a Saudi general under citizen's arrest during his visit to London on 30 March. Sam Walton was caught on camera approaching Major General Ahmad al-Asiri and demanding that his guards allow him to conduct the arrest over war crimes in Yemen.

Ahmad al-Asiri, adviser in the Saudi defence ministry, and spokesman for the war against the Houthi movement in Yemen was in the city to speak at the European Council on Foreign Relations.

"The UK government has blood on its hands and we need to do everything we can to stop the transfer of weapons and show these sales are illegitimate," Walton said in a statement following the incident. "By providing weapons and support Britain is deeply complicit in Saudi war-crimes, and it's vital that we bring an end to this immoral, abhorrent trade."

The war in Yemen has led to the deaths of over 10,000 people and according to the United Nations, over 18 million people are suffering from famine and lack of basic supplies.

"Asiri represents a regime that has killed thousands in Yemen and shown a total contempt for international law," Walton added. "[He] shouldn't be welcomed and treated like a dignitary; he should be arrested and investigated for war crimes."

In the video of the arrest attempt, Asiri can he heard shouting to the crowd outside the building and is caught on camera giving them the middle finger. Sources claim the general entered the conference with raw egg stains on his suit but Walton confirmed via his Twitter account that he did not attack General Asiri but was simply trying to arrest him.

The Saudi spokesperson dismissed allegations that the country had indulged in war crimes against Yemen during its fight against the Houthi militia. He said that Saudi's attacks were in defence of its borders which were being bombed by Yemen forces.

Asiri denied claims of starvation in areas controlled by Saudi forces, attacks on residential areas and said that the Houthis were selling the international aid on the black market.

In 2016, he also denied the use of UK-made cluster bombs but later admitted that they had been detonated in Yemen.

Campaign Against Arms Trade has been working to stop the sale of UK-made weapons to the Saudi government, which it says has caused a "humanitarian disaster" in Yemen. The British government has already licensed £3.3bn ($4.1bn) worth of arms to Riyadh, in what the organisation calls a direct violation of UK's own guidelines on arms sales.

Sam Walton
Peace activist Sam Walton (left) explains to police why he placed Saudi General Al-Asserie under citizens arrest for war crimes. Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy stands alongside Campaign Against Arms Trade