News ID: 92564
Publish Date : 18 July 2021 - 21:55

LONDON (Dispatches) – Western nations and arms companies are complicit in aiding regimes in the Middle East to spy on their citizens, speakers at an international conference shedding light on the human rights implications of the arms trade, said on Saturday.
Attendees at Selling Death: why the international arms trade must be controlled, which was backed by former Labour party leader Jeremy Corbyn, decried what they said was a “corrupt” arms trade that reaped huge profits for the “global military-industrial complex.”
Egyptian human rights activist Sherif Mansour spoke of “the quiet war” which he says takes place every day across the Middle East whereby “governments use violence against their own population to build the fear barrier to stop them from ever dreaming to be free like they did 10 years ago in the Arab Spring.”
He went on to mention that much of what happens is “enabled by western capitals through the software arms trade, the surveillance industry.”
The conference, organized by Egypt Watch, an independent research platform, took place in collaboration with the Project for Peace and Justice, founded by Corbyn, which campaigns to build “solidarity and hope for a more decent world.”
“The international arms trade is extremely profitable for the global military-industrial complex,” Osama Gaweesh, editor-in-chief at Egypt Watch, said as he opened the conference.
“It is riddled with bribery and corruption which has been known to be a main source for arms co-operations.”
Richard Burgon, the Labour MP for Leeds East, pointed to Britain’s involvement in arms trade deals, specifically in relation to Palestine and the Zionist regime.
“The British government continues to authorize arms sales to Israel despite clear evidence that the weapons of the types authorized for sale have been used in violation of international war. This means the UK is providing material support for Israel’s illegal use of force,” Burgon said.
Corbyn closed the conference by highlighting the hypocrisy of the British government.
“We are subsidizing the destruction of Yemen and then patting ourselves on the back for giving money to Yemen in order to provide replacement water supplies, housing schools, hospitals, and all the other things being destroyed in the war in the first place,” he said.
Corbyn also called for action to stop the international arms trade.
Earlier this week, a new investigation revealed that Britain has exported around three times as much weaponry and military equipment to Saudi Arabia, which is leading a devastating military aggression against Yemen, than previously believed.

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