Suspend UK export of tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields to USA

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The UK cannot support a continuous breach of human rights and supply the USA with tear gas, rubber bullets and riot shields that are being used against protestors.

By continuing the sale of these items, the UK is choosing profit over human rights and is unacceptable. Government records show it grants export licences worth millions of pounds for the sale of anti-crowd gas, riot equipment and other small arms to the US – but the government’s own rules say such exports should not go ahead where they are likely to be used for “internal repression”.

Oliver Feeley-Sprague, Amnesty International UK’s military, security and police programme director, said: “After the shocking images of the police and national guard using excessive force against Black Lives Matter protesters in Minneapolis, the UK should immediately freeze all policing and security equipment export licences to the US where there’s a clear risk of further misuse – something the UK is obliged to do under its own laws.

“Given the evidence emerging from numerous US cities, there’s a very real risk of UK-manufactured tear gas or rubber bullets being used against George Floyd protesters in dangerous and highly inappropriate ways – something that ministers need to respond to.



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