Control Arms campaigners call for review of UK arms exports

Members of the Control Arms Campaign have issued a press release demanding a thorough review of UK arms exports to the Middle East and North Africa. 

The release came in response to a report by UK Members of Parliament which the campaigners said, "highlights how successive governments have failed to identify the risk of exporting weapons to countries such as Libya and Bahrain, where grave human rights violations have been committed and where there is a high risk of internal repression".
 
The report, released by the Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC), includes a country-by-country breakdown of export licences  approved between January 2009 and September 2010 that it said could be used for "internal repression by authoritarian regimes".

The report also includes a list of export licences that have been revoked since January 2011. The chairman of the committees, Sir John Stanley, said, "The committees welcome these revocations of arms export licences to Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Bahrain but their number, 156 by the time the Committees concluded their Report, reflects the degree of policy misjudgement that has occurred".
 
Oliver Sprague of Amnesty International UK said, “Licences should be rejected where there is a clear risk that equipment would be used in human rights abuses. Current events show that the need for active leadership on negotiations for the UN Arms Trade Treaty is more pressing than ever”.