14 Nov 2011

Stop arms sales

When the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) helped expose the UK's arms sales to Libya, Bahrain and other repressive regimes earlier this year, the government was forced to revoke more than 150 export licences. Now that those uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa no longer dominate the media headlines, it seems the UK government hopes its role in arming the region's repressive regimes will be forgotten. But it is still arming dictators and human rights abusers today.

Early Day Motion 2166 is a parliamentary petition calling for an end to arms sales to repressive regimes. Please help raise the profile of this issue in Parliament by asking your MP to sign. Caroline Lucas has already signed.

Here is what CAAT write: Torture and other human rights abuse continue under Egypt's military rulers. Last month, one prisoner was tortured to death and 27 people were killed when protesters were mown down by armoured vehicles. The UK government continues to issue licences for arms exports to Egypt, as well as to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and other authoritarian states. Within days of Gaddafi's death the UK announced its plans for an arms sales trip to Libya. Even before the dust has settled on the conflict, and while huge stocks of weapons already in the country remain unsecured, the UK's priority seems to be considering how to sell more. As arms sales Minister Gerald Howarth has said: "Frankly I want to see the UK business benefit from the liberation we’ve given to their people."

You can email your MP, like I have done, by going here.

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