The Tories say Jeremy Corbyn is a national security threat. But guess who they invited to London this week

Bethan McKernan@mck_beth
Tuesday 15 September 2015 15:30
news

It's safe to say that the government has done a fair bit of scaremongering in the first three days of Jeremy Corbyn's tenure as leader of the Labour party.

What the government has failed to mention - but widely advertised abroad - is that it has invited representatives from regimes with "appalling" human rights records to attend the world's biggest arms fair at the ExCel centre in London this week, which is possibly a little higher in the 'national security threat' stakes.

The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) has been held biannually since 2005, and the UK, a major supplier, stands to make a lot of money.

Since 2014 the total value of UK weapons export licenses is estimated to be £8,282,044,966 - and a recent report found that the UK has supplied £5.2bn worth of arms to countries with poor human rights records, including Syria, Saudi Arabia, Libya, China, Yemen and Russia.

In a statement, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

The guest list reads like a who’s who of dodgy regimes. London should be ashamed of playing matchmaker between these companies and countries like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Azerbaijan.

We need strengthened laws - and crucially we need proper enforcement – to stop Britain being used as a showroom for torturers to advertise their disgusting wares.

Amnesty International says that at past fairs illegal cluster munition weaponry and torture equipment, including electric shock stun guns and ankle-breaking leg irons, have been advertised for sale. Not one company or exhibitor has ever been prosecuted for breaking the law by advertising such wares.

"[Business Secretary] Sajid Javid needs to clean up this arms fair and stop the UK being used as a shop window for torture equipment," Allen said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills told i100.co.uk:

Officials across a number of government departments have been working closely alongside Clarion Defence and Security Ltd, who are the organisers of DSEI 2015... to do everything possible to prevent any goods that breach our trade controls from being displayed by exhibitors.

Check out Amnesty's #TortureOnYourDoorstep campaign against DSEI here and their spoof advert below:

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