Some hard facts
1. The UK is one of the leading gunrunners in the world. Out of the 26 countries that the UK has highlighted as being “countries of concern” on human rights, we sell arms to 16 of them.
2. In 2010, the UK sold tear gas, crowd control armament and sniper rifles to Libya and Bahrain.
3. The same year, 2010, over £215 million of military equipment was exported to Libya from the UK, including crowd control ammunition, small arms ammunition, tear gas and sniper rifles.
4. Equipment exported to Bahrain included tear gas, crowd control ammunition, assault rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles and sub-machine guns. Bahrain has been listed by the UK Government as a key market for UK arms exports.
5. Video footage indicates that UK-made troop personnel carriers were used against democracy protestors in Libya and Bahrain.
6. That’s not a new development: in 2009, Saudi Arabian air strikes in Yemen killed many civilians. Amnesty International reported that UK-supplied planes may have been used in war crimes. Saudi Arabia is the UK’s biggest arms customer.
7. Other Arab spring countries whose governments have been armed by the UK include:
Algeria (f£272m worth in 2010)
Egypt (£6.8m in 2010)
Jordan (£19m worth in 2010)
Kuwait (£10.7m in 2010)
Oman (£364m worth in 2010)
Tunisia (£4.7m worth in 2010)
8. Lots of these weapons will be on show at DSEi, which is one of the biggest arms fairs in the world.
9. DSEi takes place at the Excel centre in the Docklands and is organised by Clarion Events (although it’s not listed on their web site) and the Government’s Defence and Security Organisation (UKTI DSO).
10. DSEi lasts from 13-16 September and there are a lot of people who don’t want it to happen. Join them.