Security & Policing 2020 arms fair brings human right abusing regimes and arms dealers to the UK

Security and Policing exhibition at Farnborough brings human rights concerns

  • Security & Policing arms fair to take place 03-05 March in Farnborough
  • Over 60 international delegations to attend, including reps from many of the world’s most repressive regimes
  • Buyers will be able to buy technology for spying, surveillance, repression of protest and militarised borders

This week, between March 03-05 the UK will be hosting Security & Policing 2020, an arms fair with a particular focus on surveillance equipment and equipment that can be used for internal repression.

The event, which opens TODAY, is hosted by the Home Office. It brings some of the world’s biggest arms companies together with a number of government, military and police delegations that have been accused of human rights abuses and torture. Among the delegations that have been invited are Bahrain, Israel, Kazakhstan, Chile, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The delegations have been invited by Department of International Trade’s Defence & Security Organisation (DIT DSO), the civil service trade body that exists to promote arms exports. DIT DSO civil servants will have private meetings with representatives from countries that it wants to promote exports to.

Hundreds of companies will attend, including BAE Systems, Leonardo and Thales. There will also be attendees from a number of surveillance companies, including the controversial NSO Group, which makes equipment that has been accused of being linked to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:

Security and Policing will bring some of the world’s most repressive regimes together with many of the world’s biggest arms companies. The equipment being promoted this week will be the kind that can be used to target campaigners and crackdown on dissent. It is totally irresponsible for the Home Office to be hosting an event like this.

By promoting spyware and other repressive equipment to human rights abusing regimes and dictatorships, the UK is aiding and supporting their abuses. In many cases, the companies that are profiting from walls, fences and militarised borders are the same ones that are fueling the wars that are causing displacement. It’s not just time to shut down arms fairs like Security & Policing, it’s also time to end the foreign policy and political mindset that allows them to happen in the first place.

If you would like more details about the companies or delegations in attendance, or about the ‘security’ industry more generally, then please contact Andrew at media(at)caat·org·uk or call 020 7281 0297.

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