This is the last article you can read this month
You can read more article this month
You can read more articles this month
Sorry your limit is up for this month
THE government must immediately halt tear gas sales to Greece after its “appalling” use on refugee protesters in Lesbos, campaigners demanded today.
Anti-arms campaigners are calling on ministers to review whether British-made tear gas was used by Greek riot police on refugees demonstrating for safe passage off the island on Saturday.
Twelve thousand asylum-seekers have been sleeping on the streets for six days, with little food and water, after Europe’s largest refugee camp burnt to the ground last week.
They have faced routine tear gas attacks from police, with distressing footage on Saturday showing indiscriminate use against families and children.
The British government approved “open licences” to Greece in 2010 and 2018, under which they are allowed to receive unlimited exports of tear gas.
Although there are no details of where the tear gas used in recent attacks on refugees was made, CAAT claims British-made gas was used by Greek authorities on pro-democracy protesters in a previous incident in July.
CAAT’s Andrew Smith said: “The use of tear gas against refugees was appalling, and must be condemned in the strongest terms.
“Tear gas has an indiscriminate impact, and can lead to serious injury and sometimes even death. It has no legitimate role in policing or otherwise.
“The Greek authorities have a long and shameful history of using tear gas against protesters. There must be a full investigation [into whether] UK-made tear gas has been used, and an immediate halt to all sales.”
Amnesty said there was “no way” the British government should continue supplying tear gas to Greece under the current circumstances.
Amnesty’s military, security and police programme director Oliver Feeley-Sprague said: “It’s distressing to see tear gas fired at peaceful protesters, especially in an EU country so close to home and especially when those protesters are refugee families who have lost what little they had in the devastating fires.
“The UK government must act quickly to prevent the possibility of further supplies by cancelling all existing licenses and refusing any new requests to export tear gas to Greece.”
The call follows a similar demand by campaigners earlier this year to halt arms exports to the US over fears British-made weapons were being used to violently quell Black Lives Matter protests.
Under arms licencing laws, weapons cannot be sold if they could be used for internal repression of civilians.
The Department for International Trade was contacted for comment.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.