Monday Jun 03, 201302:31 PM GMT
UK arms Bahrain despite brutal crackdown
Tue Feb 14, 2012 7:28PM
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British government, the close ally of despot regimes, has continued to provide the repressive regime of Bahrain with arms despite continuing pro-democracy protests in the kingdom.


New official figures revealed that the government confirmed it had sold military equipment over £1 million worth in the months after the regime’s violent crackdown on protesters a year ago. The figures contained licenses for gun silencers, weapons sights, rifles, artillery and components for military training aircraft.

The revelation comes as Britain sold arms worth £2.2m to al-Khalifa regime between July and September 2011.

Bahraini security forces fired teargas and stun grenades at anti regime protesters on the eve of the first anniversary of the country’s revolution. The forces heavily attacked the protesters who marched from the outskirts of Manama towards the capital, blocking a main highway to the city as the protesters were moving towards the Pearl Square.

After last year’s disclosure of UK’s endorsement of arms sales, including crowd control equipment, guns, and ammunition to suppressive regimes of Bahrain, Libya and Egypt, Britain invalidated 158 export licenses, including 44 military exports to the Gulf kingdom.

The recent figures, issued on the Department for Business, innovation, and skills website, also revealed that Britain supplied Saudi Arabia with £1 million worth of arms, such as components for military combat vehicles and turrets. However, during Bahrain’s anti regime protests Saudi Arabia sent its forces to Bahrain in UK military vehicles to crush peaceful protests.

Moreover, UK government provide Egypt’s ruling junta with over £1 million worth of equipment, such as components for military combat vehicles, weapons night sights, communications and range finding.

Sarah Waldron from Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) criticized the British government’s controversial measures to arm the despot regimes with latest killing technologies. Saying, "The UK seems to have learned absolutely nothing from the last year. In the glare of media attention in February last year it revoked some arms licenses - but the latest figures show it was quickly back to business as usual."

SAB/JR/HE
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