Security and Policing is an annual event organised by the UK government’s Home Office and the arms industry trade body, ADS. The event is a place where arms, border, policing and surveillance companies work and exhibit equipment and technologies together. Government delegations from across the world are invited by the the government’s arms sales unit, Defence & Security Organisation (DSO), and so the fair is an opportunity for relationships to be built and developed between these industries that work so closely together, but also with governments and states.Continue reading “Security & Policing 2020”
Earlier this month author David Wearing spoke in London on Britain’s military and economic support for Saudi Arabia, and the UK connection with the war in Yemen.
On London’s first hot weekend of the year a group of activists chose to spend their morning outside a Land Rover showroom in Mayfair. Their goal? To highlight Land Rover’s support of the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which takes place on 12th May and brings together the UK royal family with dictator King Hamad of Bahrain.
We’re delighted to say that the prosecution against prominent Bahraini activist, Isa Al Aali, who was arrested at last summer’s Farnborough arms fair protests, has been discontinued after the Crown Prosecution Service accepted that there was ‘not enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction’.
Isa was due to appear in court on January 16th, but after representations by Bindmans LLP, the CPS agreed to drop all charges. You can read a full report on the case on the Bindmans blog.
This week activists are on trial for taking action against the DSEI arms fair last September.
Yesterday, three of the defendants presented their case. All of them spoke at length about why they felt their actions against DSEI were necessary in order to prevent greater crimes.
Last night I joined activists from several groups including the Network for Police Monitoring, Global Justice Now, Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants, London Mexico Solidarity, London Campaign Against Arms Trade and Stop the Arms Fair for a protest outside the Home Office to call for an end to the ‘Security and Policing’ arms fair.
The repressive Bahraini government continues to abuse human rights and crack down on democracy protests. The UK has a close relationship with Bahrain but has failed to speak out about its human rights violations – instead it has prioritised trying to secure more arms sales to this authoritarian regime. We urgently need it to speak out now.
Maryam Al Khawaja is an inspiring human rights defender, who has fought tirelessly for justice for others. Now she needs our help.
The Science Museum justified its plans to host a ‘welcome reception’ for arms dealers from Farnborough International by telling us that Farnborough International was a ‘legitimate organisation’.
So I went to Farnborough this week and saw what ‘legitimate’ looks like.
It was the most surreal and chilling day I have ever experienced. But for the arms dealers and military buyers attending, it was just business as usual.
I stood by the glossy stands of Israeli arms companies, promoting ‘battle-tested’ weaponry with slick videos of missile strikes and drone attacks, while outside, in the real world, the death toll in Gaza mounted.
Prince Andrew is in action right now, propping up dictators and BAE’s weapons sales. He’s not alone: senior Ministers, members of the RAF and civil servants are all at the Bahrain International Airshow helping promote BAE’s Typhoon warplanes to Bahrain’s dictators.
King Hamad of Bahrain has overseen a brutal crackdown on his own people. Those who speak up for democratic reform face being tortured and locked up, or sent into exile.
Bahrain has no military need for BAE’s Typhoons, but it does have a political need: it knows that buying UK weapons can also buy UK silence on Bahrain’s human rights abuses.
Stop The Shipment campaign succeeds as South Korea ends tear gas sales to Bahrain
The Stop The Shipment campaign was launched in October to prevent a massive shipment of over 1.6 million rounds of tear gas from South Korea to Bahrain. CAAT supporters worked with Bahraini and South Korean activists to put pressure on the authorities to stop the deal.
Now DAPA, South Korea’s arms export licensing agency, has announced that due to political instability and pressure from international rights groups they are going to cease all tear gas exports to the Bahraini dictatorship. This is a major victory and is thanks to everyone who supported the campaign.