PUBLISHED: 18:20 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 18:25 13 September 2017

One of MBDA's SPEAR missiles being launched

One of MBDA’s SPEAR missiles being launched


Anti-weapons campaigners are concerned in every week of motion to try to forestall bombs and missiles – including these inbuilt Stevenage – being bought to nations with questionable human rights data.

Campaign Against Arms Trade protestors are demonstrating outdoors London’s ExCel centre the place the Defence and Security Equipment International Fair is happening till Friday.

Six of the nations invited to DSEI, including Saudi Arabia, have been included on the UK Government’s personal watch record of human rights abusers and quite a few firms including Stevenage’s MBDA use the biennial fair as an opportunity to promote their weapons.

Representatives of some 56 nations including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Turkey and Bahrain have been invited to attend DSEI — which is run collectively by the Defence and Security Organisation, the part of the Government’s Department for International Trade which assists weapons firms with their worldwide exports.

Six Hills Way based mostly MBDA is a subsidiary of BAE techniques, the world’s third largest arms producer.

It has additionally utilized to provide weapons to nations including South Korea, Turkey and Oman.

Its Stevenage-built cruise missiles, Storm Shadow, and floor assault Brimstone missiles are recognized to have been utilized by Saudi Arabia in its controversial conflict in Yemen.

CAAT says 56 nations have been invited to the occasion including a “range of regimes with appalling human rights records such as Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Kuwait, Oman, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and United Arab Emirates and Vietnam”.

Andrew Smith for CAAT stated: “This list includes a roll call of despots, dictatorships and human rights abusers. They will be greeted by civil servants and Government ministers who are there for one reason only: to promote weapons. It’s impossible to promote human rights and democracy while arming and supporting authoritarian regimes and tyrants.”

Caroline Lucas MP, who’s co-chief of the Green Party, and just lately requested the parliamentary query about weapons gross sales, added: “DSEI is a dark stain on our country’s already tarnished reputation. It’s time that this festival of violence was shut down for good – and for the UK to engage in peace-building rather than trying to cement itself as the world’s weapons dealer.”

MBDA has exported at least 1,500 missiles from the UK to Saudi Arabia since 2008.

In March 2015, a Saudi Arabia-led coalition commenced a army marketing campaign in Yemen, concentrating on Houthis and allied insurgent teams backing the previous president of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh. This army marketing campaign has concerned substantial numbers of air strikes towards all kinds of targets.

Some 10,000 civilians have died within the warfare to date with greater than three million individuals having been displaced.

In July, the High Court dominated that arms exports might proceed to Saudi Arabia after a authorized problem led by CAAT, regardless of rising opposition on humanitarian grounds.

MBDA says all its gross sales are based mostly on moral choice-making. It states on its web site: “Our fame is predicated on integrity and the respect of the legal guidelines and laws – each in our home nations and in export nations the place we function.

“Many of our actions aren’t ruled by legal guidelines or laws, through which case the precept of integrity should govern our conduct. It is our private duty to apply this precept at all occasions.”

More than 100 activists have been arrested by police at this week’s arms fair.

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