Saturday, February 19, 2011

UK supplies arms to revolt-plagued Arab nations


Britain was questioned by human rights groups for granting permission to sell anti-riot weapons to a score of Arab states that have been or are now undergoing anti-regime mass demonstrations over the past weeks, which have resulted to killing a number of people and wounding thousands, in a report from The Independent.
The UK government has allowed the sale of combat choppers to Algeria, tear gas to Bahrain, ammunitions and military utility vehicles to Libya, and armored carriers to Saudi.
Weapon manufacturers were sanctioned to sell riot control products that include demolition charges, hand grenades, smoke canisters and thunder flashes to the tiny Gulf state Bahrain according to London's Department for Business report published in the third quarter of 2010.
Following five fatalities and over 100 injuries during the anti-government protests in the capital city Manama, Britain has started to review its arms exports to Bahrain, said The Guardian.
Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt said, the parliament will "urgently revoke licenses if we judge that they are no longer in line with the [UK and European Union] criteria."
"We closely consider allegations of human rights abuses. We will not authorize any exports which, we assess, might provoke or prolong regional or internal conflicts, which might be used to facilitate internal repression."
Details of this story here.
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