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Arms fair brings human rights abusing regimes and dealers together

OFFICIALS from human rights abusing regimes and arms dealers gathered at the Security and Policing arms fair in Farnborough yesterday.

More than 60 international delegations are attending the fair including reps from some of the world’s most repressive regimes such as Bahrain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Chile and Turkey.

The fair is hosted by the British government and will run until tomorrow.

Some of the world’s biggest arms companies, including BAE Systems and Leonardo, will meet with the government, military and police delegations.

Buyers will be able to get their hands on technology for spying, surveillance, repression of protesters and militarised borders.

Campaign Against Arms Trade’s Andrew Smith warned that the equipment being promoted at the fair “will be the kind that can be used to target campaigners and crack down on dissent.”

He called it “totally irresponsible” for the Home Office to be hosting the event.

“By promoting spyware and other repressive equipment to human rights abusing regimes and dictatorships the UK is giving, aiding and supporting their abuses,” Mr Smith said.

“In many cases, the companies that are profiting from walls, fences and militarised borders are the same ones that are fuelling the wars that are causing displacement.

“It’s not just time to shut down arms fairs like Security and Policing, it’s also time to end the foreign policy and political mindset that allows them to happen in the first place.”

The event will also see attendees from a number of surveillance companies, including the controversial NSO Group which makes equipment that has allegedly been linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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