Arming Represssion

Ask your MP to read our report and take action on exports of repressive technologies

The UK government, working closely with a large number of private companies, are key partners for repressive regimes in the Persian Gulf, with devastating consequences for democracy and human rights.

To secure fuel supplies and military control in the Persian Gulf, the UK government strategy is to build a permanent presence with new official ‘partnerships’ and military bases. Yet details are kept hidden in a secretive ‘Gulf Strategy Unit’.

In addition, under the cloak of ensuring ‘internal security’ in the region the UK is complicit in state violence through the export of arms, technology and training used for internal repression. Find out more in our new report Arming Repression: The new British Imperialism in the Persian Gulf.

Write to your MP and demand that they read Arming Repression and take action.

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Since 2010, the UK government has approved over 6,000 individual export licences to British arms companies serving the Persian Gulf region, with a combined value of £16 billion. British complicity in state violence and internal repression includes: training of sniper units; sale of tear gas; delivery of covert surveillance technologies and the provision of public order training. These exports have been linked with the violent crackdowns on protests that have spread across the region as social movements rise up to challenge authoritarian rulers.

Read about the strategy, training, arms exports and the companies involved in our new report Arming Repression: The new British Imperialism in the Persian Gulf.

The UK’s current licencing criteria should prohibit exports of arms and repressive technologies where there is a risk of items being used for ‘internal repression’ or ‘serious violation of international humanitarian law’. But this is clearly not working.

War on Want is calling for:

  1. an immediate ban on all UK arms exports to countries where there is a risk of technologies being used in internal repression or human rights violations. This would include many regimes identified in this report.
  2. the government to come clean on the details of the shadowy ‘Gulf Strategy Unit’and its role in driving UK government complicity in state violence in the Gulf.
  3. an inquiry into the role of UK military and police forces in providing training to repressive regimes.

Tell your MP to ban the export of repression

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