UK sells arms behind democracy banner
الثلثاء 5 رمضان 1433 ساعة 15:48
New figures for arms export licenses reveal that the British government is still profiting from selling weaponry to repressive regimes in the Middle East and North Africa contrary to its statements on respect for human rights for all its arms sales.
On Friday July 13, the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) in the House of Commons published their first joint report, which assesses the recent UK Strategic Export Controls Annual Report (2010), the government’s recent review of arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa and quarterly reports on arms exports across 2010 and 2011.
The CAEC’s report condemned the British government for selling arms to countries which the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had classified as "countries of concern" because of their human rights abuses.
“Whilst the [UK] Government’s statement that ‘respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms are mandatory considerations for all export license applications’ is welcome, those considerations do not appear to have weighed sufficiently heavily on either the present Government or on its predecessor given the unprecedented scale of arms export license revocations that the Government has made since the Arab Spring,” said the report.
As UK delegates head into the final weeks of the International Arms Trade Treaty talks in New York, which was started on July 2, the report has called for a far tougher approach by the UK government when considering weapons export licensing decisions.
"The CAEC report rightly focuses on the shameless way that the UK Government sold arms to repressive regimes who then turned those arms on their own people,” said Kaye Stearman for Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).
Earlier on June, activists from Amnesty International and Oxfam took a 17-tonne armored tank to the streets of central London, calling for an international arms trade treaty preventing transfer of weapons to regions where there is a risk of fuelling serious human rights abuses.
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