Two-thirds of the world’s most criticized countries for human rights abuses and civil rights abuses have received weapons from the United Kingdom over the past decade. They have sold arms worth about ৭ 1.6 billion to these countries.
This was reported in a report in the British media Guardian on Sunday. The Freedom House, a US-funded human rights group, has listed 53 countries that violate basic human rights and the political rights of the people. Weapons and military equipment approved by the UK government have been sold to 39 countries on the list. Over the past decade, UK arms companies have sold Thousands1.7 billion worth of arms and military equipment to these countries, which have been criticized for their human rights record. The list includes Libya, Saudi Arabia and Turkey.
The London-based non-governmental organization Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said in a review that it had sold arms to most of the countries listed by the State Department as concerned about the human rights situation. The UK government lists 30 countries with repressive regimes. According to the CAAT, over the past decade, various British companies have sold arms to 21 countries on the list. Weapons and military equipment worth ৮ 1.17 billion have been sold.
At the time, Millions93 million worth of rifles, military vehicles and ammunition had left the conflict-torn Libya for the United Kingdom. Local rebel groups and international forces are fighting for influence in the country. Downing Street has criticized the Saudi government for its airstrikes and clashes in Yemen. But more than half of the Saudi warplanes used to strike Yemeni territory came from the United Kingdom.
The UK government’s Department of International Trade says nine countries, including Egypt, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Thailand and Turkey, are major buyers of arms and military equipment exported from the UK. Most of these countries have specific allegations of human rights abuses. Even in the last decade, Russia has received 44 million pounds of weapons, ammunition and sniper rifles from the United Kingdom.
Andrew Smith, CAAT’s media chief, said UK-made weapons were playing a key role in wreaking havoc around the world, including in Yemen. Even the weapons that the UK government is now selling could be used to wreak havoc and repression in the future.
Andrew Smith added that where there is oppression and conflict, arms companies seek business. In doing business, they also sell arms to dictators and human rights violators. Despite fierce criticism, the companies could not have continued their arms deals with the disputed countries and rulers without the principled support of Prime Minister Boris Johnson and members of his cabinet.