Today CAAT was at the Court of Appeal, challenging the Government’s decision to continue allowing arms sales to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen.Continue reading “In the Court of Appeal: Stop Arming Saudi”
Mel Strickland is one of 15 activists that blocked a government deportation flight chartered to transport people for repatriation to Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone .
The activists were charged and convicted under repressive “antiterror” legislation, and could face years in prison. CAAT stands in solidarity with the activists as they appeal the appalling verdict. Mel has also taken action on environmental issues and against the DSEI arms fair.
I was part of a group that successfully stopped a charter flight at Stansted airport in March 2017 through peaceful means. We were deeply concerned about secret charter flights that take place in the middle of the night from Stansted airport. On these flights, people are deported en masse to countries where commercial flights don’t often go. Read more
September 2017 is a key month for those seeking to end the arms trade. There are just so many, and such varied, opportunities to highlight the dire consequences of the trade in death and destruction and move towards ending it. Continue reading “It’s all happening in September”
The second annual Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) conference was held in Geneva in August 2016. CAAT’s Parliamentary Coordinator Ann Feltham was there, and reports on how this new treaty’s progress compares to the hype.
This Thursday Campaign Against Arms Trade will be in the High Court challenging the Government’s decision to keep arming Saudi Arabia.
The hearing will determine if a judicial review will be granted to consider whether UK arms sales to Saudi are in violation of domestic and European arms export law.
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.
Damning words from Judge Stefan Apostol. He was speaking in a courtroom in Vienna, at the conclusion of a corruption trial.
Although the trial received almost no publicity in the UK, the individual on trial and the company behind his misdeeds were deeply linked with the UK.
In the dock was “Count” Alfons Mensdorff-Pouilly, popularly known in Austria as “Count Ali”. Aristocratic ranks were abolished in Austria in 1919 but erstwhile aristocratic families are reluctant to give up grandiose titles which it seems work wonders in gaining entrée into certain social and business circles.
Continue reading ““The affair stinks but it doesn’t stink enough….””
Henry Boddington explores the parallels between the slave trade and the arms trade and explains why ending the arms trade should be a priority for today’s world.
In 1769 the slave, James Somersett was brought to England. He was the property of Charles Steuart a customs officer from Boston Massachusetts, then a British colony in North America. Somersett ran away in 1771 but was re-captured and imprisoned upon a ship bound for the British colony of Jamaica. However, people claiming to be Somersett’s godparents made an application before the Court of King’s Bench for a writ of habeas corpus, and the captain of the ship was ordered to produce Somersett before the Court of King’s Bench, which would determine whether his imprisonment was legal.
BAE managed to escape with a fine of £500,000 plus costs in court today. Its plea bargain (worth £30 million) to end years of corruption investigations was structured so poorly that if the court fined more, this would be deducted from the amount Tanzania is to receive in reparations. The judge described “moral pressure” to therefore minimise the fine.
But it is heartening that the judge, like the rest of us, could clearly see through BAE’s story:
“..on the basis of the documents shown to me it seems very naïve in the extreme to think that Mr Vithlani was simply a well-paid lobbyist” Continue reading “BAE – getting away with paying peanuts”
We braved the snow to demonstrate outside BAE’s court hearing
Sub-zero temperatures didn’t deter us from voicing our anger outside court today. Arms company BAE was inside and set to get away with paying utter peanuts: buying an end to years of corruption investigations by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). But it seems we weren’t the only people to spot injustice: the judge has so far not rubber-stamped the proposed plea bargain. He has instead postponed sentencing until tomorrow.
The SFO investigations involved allegations of corrupt payments of over £1,000,000,000 in nine countries. The proposed plea bargain on the other hand is a measly £30 million, admitting only to “accounting errors” in a single disastrous deal for Tanzania. Continue reading “BAE – guilty not only of “accounting errors”?”