Torture gear at British arms fair

This video from Britain says about itself:

Caroline Lucas accuses companies of pushing torture weapons in Parliament

11 Sep 2013

Caroline Lucas, Green MP makes a statement regards sale of illegal weapons at the #dsei London Arms Fair including handheld projectile electric shock weapons, weighted leg cuffs, and stun batons.

Later the companies were ejected from the event.

Full story here.

By Paddy McGuffin in England:

Banned torture gear flaunted at arms fair

Thursday 15 September 2011

Organisers of the London arms fair launched a desperate damage limitation exercise today by expelling a British firm openly advertising banned torture equipment.

Sussex-based firm Beechwood Equipment was found by Amnesty International to be displaying pamphlets advertising shackles and leg-irons from the firm CTS-Thompson at this week’s Defence and Security Equipment International.

Despite explicit acknowledgments on the DSEi website that the sale of “leg irons, gang chains, shackles and shackle bracelets” are prohibited, the brochures – freely available to potential investors – promoted products for sale from CTS-Thompson.

The brochure offers oversized leg cuffs, waist chains, lead chains and “the enhanced transport restraint system” which combines waist chains and cuffs with leg cuffs.

Under British law the sale or export of such equipment is banned.

The discovery will be of serious embarrassment to the government, which partly funds the event through its arms promotions arms UK Trade and Investment Defence and Security Organisation.

Organisers of the DSEi Clarion events confirmed that a stall run by Sussex-based firm Beechwood Equipment had been shut down after they were alerted to the situation.

A spokesman for Clarion events said that the firm had robust procedures in place to prevent such incidents occurring but that “sadly occasionally something slips through the net.”

He added that a close search and survey of all literature on other stands had now been instituted and said they were grateful to Amnesty for bringing the matter to their attention.

Amnesty International’s arms programme director Oliver Sprague said: “Sadly this is not the first time that DSEi has allowed prohibited torture equipment to find its way onto exhibitors’ stands, despite a public commitment to monitor compliance and scrutinise all advertising material.”

In 2007, Amnesty researchers discovered two companies, Cardiff-based BCB International and Chinese firm Famous Glory Holding, promoting banned leg restraints.

The DSEi website confirmed that Beechwood Equipment’s stand has been closed and claimed that its response had been “robust” and “immediate.”

It added: “The stand was closed as soon as the literature was found and we should stress that no equipment was found.

“We have informed the Export Control Organisation of the breach and of our decision to close the stand.”

But Mr Sprague said that DSEi’s action “certainly wasn’t ‘immediate.’ These materials should never have been on display in the first place.

“These illegal torture goods were on display for two days prior to Amnesty uncovering them.

“Sadly this is not the first time that it has fallen to Amnesty International to police what is being promoted at the fair and clearly this embarrassing episode demonstrates that the systems put in place to monitor and enforce the law, are far too lax.”

The Star contacted Beechwood Equipment for comment but by time of press they had not responded.

Companies ejected from London arms fair for ‘promoting cluster bombs‘: here.

19 thoughts on “Torture gear at British arms fair

  1. USA:

    This was supposed to be a week dominated by war profiteers’ message machine in Washington, D.C., but we went on offense and forced them to respond to us. Please help us keep the heat on military contractors by donating to the War Costs campaign.

    Early this week, we hit the profiteers with a full-page ad in Politico, forcing them to answer reporters’ questions about the job-killing effect of war spending before they were ready to launch their own campaign.
    Then, we launched a new video exposing military contractors’ moves targeting the deficit committee. By Friday night, we’d received more than 10 times the number of views than the war industry’s competing video.
    Our push netted two front-page stories on The Huffington Post plus CBS News coverage, where we exposed the contractors’ effort to protect their profits at our expense.

    This was a hard-fought, rewarding week, but this fight is just beginning. Can you donate $25 to help us keep the heat on the war profiteers?

    In the coming weeks, the war profiteers plan to intensify their pro-war-spending campaign. Here’s what their spokesperson said at a press conference on Wednesday:

    “The campaign does not intend to be your typical, glitzy, high-on-advertising, short-on-substance, short-term, inside-the-Beltway blitz. …This is going to be a sustained effort, in states, in cities, towns, as well as in Washington, to caution the American people and our leaders, of the risks associated with cutting our defense budget further.”

    In other words, this fight is just beginning. These corporations are going to use every trick in the book to protect their profits, and we have to be ready. The good news is that there’s never been a persistent effort like ours to fight these profiteers at every turn, and if we keep the heat on, we can catch them off-guard.

    We had a great week this week. We hope you’ll stand with us as we keep up the fight to cut job-killing war spending.


    Derrick Crowe, Robert Greenwald
    and the Brave New Foundation team

    P.S. If you have not yet done so, please join War Costs on Facebook.


  2. DSEi arms fair is a carnival for deadly hypocrites

    Yes, they came back, for one week only, to the London ExCel. Those heartless, thoughtless, conscienceless, money-driven morons were here again.

    And they all have our government’s blessing.

    Yes, it’s those bloodsucking scumbags, those friendly folks of the machines of death industry (or defence systems as they’re laughably called).

    The Arab uprisings this year are a backlash to the Western-backed dictators, who are armed to the teeth by companies like BAE.

    The people in those countries want a better way of life.

    We are the last country to lecture others on freedom and democracy, when we have stifled theirs up until now.

    As far as our leaders are concerned, it’s business first, and (foreign) human lives are an afterthought.

    If you oppose war then the arms industry must be the epicentre of your stance.

    Wars, oppression, torture, environmental damage, famine, poverty, refugees, public spending cuts and unemployment will continue as long as this horrific trade continues.

    War should be a historic term, the arms trade should be too. “You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.”

    There were many opposing them this week.

    Colin Crilly, by email


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