Exposed: London Arms Fair

The London Arms Fair came to the ExCel centre this September.

Alongside guns, tanks and killer drones, you might also have found offers for illegal torture equipment – we did in 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2013. 

At some we found cluster bombs, at others it’s been leg irons, electric shock batons and stun guns – tools used to torture people.

We thought people should know what’s happening on their doorstep. So we gave the government…


We created online ads, big posters, leaflets and full page press ads to make sure everyone knows what's really going on.

Thousands of you helped to spread the word – sharing it online and taking action to demand the UK government stops the illegal torture trade.

Amnesty not welcome

We've been to the Fair many times before - and found illegal torture equipment being advertised. But this year, we'll never know for sure as our arms expert was barred from the Fair.

Meanwhile, countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Pakistan were given the red-carpet treatment.

'The organisers will doubtless be delighted to have avoided headlines about leg-irons or electro-shock batons being offered for sale at DSEi, but the truth is we simply don’t know what horrendous equipment might be advertised for sale at Docklands this year.'

Oliver Sprague, Amnesty’s Arms Programme Director

The question we're asking is: what have they got to hide?

What we want to see

Despite promises to clamp down on this practice, no company has ever been prosecuted for advertising torture equipment at UK arms fairs.

This shouldn’t be happening – there are laws in the EU that prohibit the trade in torture equipment. But savvy companies are exploiting loopholes to trade in these items.

Right now, the EU is reviewing the law and we need the UK to lead the way in stopping torture.

Tell the UK government that they must fight to strengthen these laws, close the loopholes and hold those who trade in torture equipment to account.