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Organiser of London arms fair heads to ‘one of the most despotic regimes on earth’ for next event

THE company behind Britain’s most notorious arms fair is now promoting another weapons jamboree, this time in Bahrain.

Clarion, which organised the Defence Equipment and Security International (DSEI) in London earlier this month, has sent an email urging delegates to attend the Bahrain International Defence and Equipment Conference (BIDEC) at the end of October.

Around 200 companies and 10,000 visitors are expected at the event, which will take place “under the patronage of His Majesty King Hamad” — Bahrain’s autocratic ruler.

Andrew Smith from Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) told the Morning Star: “The Bahraini regime has an appalling human rights record, and the idea of companies like Clarion flying out to promote weapons is disgraceful.

“This event will be treated as a major promotional vehicle for the Bahraini dictatorship.

“Arms companies won’t care about the implications, all they care about is their bottom line and selling as many weapons as possible.

“Likewise, Clarion is an utterly shameful company that has consistently prioritised the interests of arms dealers and cosy relations with dictatorships ahead of human rights.”

Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) spokesperson Sayed Alwadaei was also concerned.

“Only a few months after Britain announced that it would not approve new export licences to Bahrain for its role within the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, British companies like Clarion are providing a shameful platform to one of the most despotic regimes on earth that detains and tortures its own citizens,” he commented.

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