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By Paddy McGuffin in Britain:
Award-winner Caat slams PM for dictator arms sales
Sunday 09 December 2012
Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has used its acceptance speech for a prestigious peace prize to condemn the British government’s hypocrisy over its arms deals with despotic regimes.
The charity, one of the recipients of this year’s Right Livelihood Awards – known as the alternative Nobel prize – made the criticism at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament in Stockholm on Friday.
Accepting the award on behalf of the group, CAAT outreach co-ordinator Anne-Marie O’Reilly said: “The trail of destruction wrought by weapons produced in the UK extends beyond the wars waged in Afghanistan and Iraq. It reaches from Gaza to Sri Lanka, from Egypt to East Timor.
“The UK spent four years promoting weapons to Gaddafi’s regime in Libya. Then in 2011, it bombed the tanks that just weeks before it had been preparing to upgrade.
“In the same year, it continued to promote and sell weapons to Egypt, even though 846 people were killed in the brutal suppression of protests.
“In Bahrain the government’s crackdown on activists continues to this day, but the UK still bolsters the regime with weapons sales and the message of support such sales send.
Ms O’Reilly cited the recent visit to the Middle East by Prime Minister David Cameron to try to secure more weapons sales.
“That visit shows us that our governments are not just allowing the sales, but actively promoting them,” she said.
Labour MP for Islington North Jeremy Corbyn also accused the PM of blatant hypocrisy.
“There is no point in complaining about human rights abuses and the guns of state authorities if we supply the guns, arms and the riot equipment in the first place,” he said.
“The Prime Minister’s odyssey around the Gulf States, on one hand raising human rights issues, at the same time being in the company of a whole phalanx of arms suppliers/dealers – this is a completely unacceptable way of doing business.
“I’m proud to represent the constituency with the offices of such brilliant organisations as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade which have exposed this state of affairs for many years and I welcome their work and support.”
See also here.
- David Cameron sparks anger by planning to promote UK arms sales on tour of troubled Middle East (mirror.co.uk)
- Indonesians still paying for dictator Suharto’s weapons (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Cameron sells weapons to Middle East dictators (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Double standards on Bahrain (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Cameron: I’ll help Obama end Syria killing … (morningstaronline.co.uk)
- Arms sales and human rights don’t mix, UK told (guardian.co.uk)
- Up in arms: Anglicans furious over weapons event at Church of England headquarters (independent.co.uk)
- Arms manufacturer halts National Gallery sponsorship after protests (guardian.co.uk)