Bahrain, other dictatorships, welcome at London arms fair

This video from Britain is called Why Campaign against the Arms Trade?

From daily The Morning Star in Britain:

Bahrain despots top arms fair‘s roll call of shame

Tuesday 13 September 2011

by Paddy McGuffin, Home Affairs Reporter

Repressive regimes including Bahrain were welcomed with open arms today at the massive Defence Security and Equipment International (DSEi) weapons fair in London’s Docklands.

Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Algeria were all invited to the event.

All have faced condemnation for their human rights records yet remain major clients for the British weapons industry.

There are strong suspicions that British-sold arms including firearms, “riot-control equipment” and tear gas were used by the Bahraini regime in the bloody crackdown on demonstrators earlier this year.

British-made armoured vehicles are also thought to have been used by the Saudi army to help crush protests in its neighbour.

Campaign Against Arms Trade spokeswoman Kaye Stearman told the Morning Star: “All the usual suspects are at DSEi, minus Libya which is in the doghouse at the moment – but who knows for how long?

“It is of serious concern that the government is continuing to sell arms to repressive regimes in the Middle East who may have used them to suppress recent protests.”

Amnesty International accused the government of a “serious error in judgement” in inviting the Bahraini regime.

The charity’s arms programme director Oliver Sprague said: “No government which is known to maim, kill and torture its own people should ever be allowed to attend a fair to shop for weapons.

“This decision also appears to be at odds with Britain’s previous censure of the violence carried out by Bahrain‘s state security forces, which left scores of the country’s people dead or injured.”

Britain revoked numerous arms export licences to Bahrain in the wake of the brutal suppression of pro-democracy protesters in March.

Mr Sprague said it was “ludicrous that they would enable the same government to window shop for weapons on British soil.

“They will be here perusing the wares on offer and will undoubtedly arrange future arms sales when far out of the reach of the British arms licensing regime. The invitation makes a mockery of any claim that Bahrain‘s access to arms is being moderated.”

Triumphant anti-arms trade campaigners will march several miles from Westminster to the Excel Centre tomorrow after winning the right to protest against the huge Defence and Security Equipment International exhibition.

Bahrain regime continues targeting students and teachers: here. And here.

Amnesty International: Bahrain: “Protester” jailed after unfair trial: Ghazi Ebrahim Farha: here.

The UK’s promotion of democracy and human rights is fundamentally undermined by sales of arms to authoritarian regimes: here.

Bahrain and Libya expose the two faces of Britain’s foreign policy. We bombed Gaddafi, but now we court Bahrain. Is our foreign policy based on ethics, or commerce? Here.

The arms peddlers have much to celebrate in the West’s ‘victory’ over Gadaffi’s forces, writes John Pilger: here.

8 thoughts on “Bahrain, other dictatorships, welcome at London arms fair

  1. Pingback: British weapons for Bahrain tyranny | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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  4. Pingback: British government welcomes dictatorships at London arms fair | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Finnish war profiteers first, Bahraini human rights a poor second | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Torture tools for sale at London arms fair | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Pingback: Stop September London arms fair | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  8. Pingback: British military links to dictatorships | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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