More arms to abusers
Have a look at this clip from French TV channel TF1 (about 20 minutes in – you can fast forward). You’ll see Armoured Personnel Carriers transporting soldiers to brutally put down a peaceful demo in Conakry, Guinea, last month.
When soldiers moved in to stop a peaceful opposition rally at a football stadium in Conakry on 28 September, there were reports of soldiers shooting civilians and raping women. Further footage shows the same vehicles transporting troops to the funeral of some of the victims of this atrocity. These troops fired teargas into a peaceful crowd to disperse them.
Those vehicles were supplied by the subsidiary of a British firm.
Ten Mamba APCs were sold to Guinea in 2003 by a company based in South Africa, Alvis OMC, then a subsidiary of UK company Alvis and now a subsidiary of UK-based BAE Systems.
Read the Guardian's report here.
We’re calling on EU Foreign ministers meeting today to suspend all arms transfers to Guinea, until those responsible for attacks on peaceful protesters are brought to justice and measures are in place to stop them happening again.
And perhaps more importantly, we need tough, international, legally-binding rules governing arms sales -an international Arms Trade Treaty. Time and time again Amnesty reports on human rights abuses which are fuelled by sales of arms and ammunition to countries with poor human rights records.
The UN General Assembly is discussing just such controls this week, but we’re seriously worried that the treaty is in danger of being watered-down to such an extent that it won’t do its job.
Which means some time next year we’ll see yet another story, yet another arms company, and yet more people killed or maimed by armed violence. We’re asking people to click on this link and email David Miliband, urging him to stick to ensure that we have a robust, effective Arms Trade Treaty that makes a real difference in stopping military equipment getting into the wrong hands.
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.