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The UK must stop arming repression

The UK Government approves billions of pounds worth of arms exports each year to regimes committing sustained, systematic, and grave human rights abuses, including war crimes.   

On paper, the UK has strict rules and regulations about trading arms with regimes that systematically abuse human rights. In reality, a lack of scrutiny enables the regular export of military technology and weaponry from the UK to repressive regimes around the world.

MPs must take a stand for human rights, and press the government to end its trade in arms with human rights abusing regimes. 

Email your MP, and ask them to write to Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, and to put their names to 'EDM 1305 UK arms exports to Israel' and 'EDM 1726 Saudi Arabia and violations of international law.'

More info

Background info

Saudi Arabia

  • Since the bombing of Yemen began in 2015, the UK Government has approved £5 billion worth of arms sales to Saudi Arabia.
  • British arms are used in the Saudi-coalition airstrikes that have led to thousands of civilian deaths and large scale destruction of infrastructure.
  • The bombings have created the conditions for outbreaks of cholera and a devastating famine affecting over 13 million people.
  • The Saudi authorities systematically cracks down on women’s rights activists and other critics of the regime.
     

Israel

  • Since 2014, the UK government has approved over £500 million worth of military technology and arms sales to Israel.
  • Israel uses military force against unarmed Palestinians protesting for their rights, targeting them with tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and live ammunition.
  • Israeli forces regularly carry out mass arrests, house demolitions and extrajudicial executions.
  • Since April 2018, over 217 Palestinians have been killed, mostly shot dead by snipers, and tens of thousands injured, in Israel’s crackdown on the ‘Great March of Return’ protests in Gaza.
     

Honduras

  • In the run up to a disputed general election in 2017, the UK Government approved the sale of sophisticated spying technology worth £300,000 to Honduras.
  • The technology was to be used by the regime’s security forces, known for arrest, torture, and extrajudicial killings of human rights defenders.
  • More repressive technology sales have been approved since, despite more than 40 people killed and thousands injured and arrested in crackdowns around the elections.
     

  • In the past two years alone, the UK has approved nearly £100 million worth of arms sales to Egypt.
  • In Egypt, police systematically use torture, arbitrary arrest, and kidnappings to target dissidents, including human rights defenders.
  • The Egyptian military also plays a key role in enforcing the illegal blockade on the Gaza Strip.
     

And more….

Bahrain, Turkey, China, Azerbaijan, India, United Arab Emirates, Nigeria, Mexico, and many more countries trade in arms with the UK, sustaining a global industry where profit is generated from violence and destruction, and UK political influence is exerted around the world, sustaining situations of instability, conflict, and human rights abuse.

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