Last year’s event attendees included 16 authoritarian regimes, including Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., and Egypt.
United Kingdom — The British government has released the list of countries invited to attend yet another arms fair this week, prompting fierce criticism that the U.K. is, once again, fuelling oppression. The list of formal delegations attending this week’s Security and Policing 2016 event has revealed that some of the most abusive regimes in the world will be in sleepy Hampshire this week, buying weapons.
The invitation list — released after a Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Campaign against Arms Trade (CAAT) — includes official delegations from abusive regimes such as Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Bahrain.
The Home Office-sponsored, shady affair takes place in Farnborough, Hampshire, between March 8 — 10 and boasts a “discreet environment” for 400 companies who supply national and international police forces, prisons, detention centres, and the military to “exhibit the latest developments in the UK security market.”
With many surveillance companies bound to be looking for buyers, campaigners fear the platform will be used to sell surveillance technology and crowd control equipment to some of the world’s most prolific human-rights abusers. Despite the allegedly “strict” Home Office entrance criteria, repressive regimes are more than welcome — with last year’s event inviting 16 authoritarian regimes, including Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., and Egypt. According to CAAT, the U.K. government’s arms sales unit held meetings with 39 countries, with a clear emphasis on the Middle East. Sinister.
Those objecting to the U.K. once again viewing conflict as a business opportunity and deepening ties with the most dangerous and tyrannical regimes in the world, are being encouraged to get involved by attending amass demonstration outside the Home Office on Wednesday evening.