RealNews

Ministers back 20-fold rise in arms sales to Indonesia

The government has approved a substantial rise in arms sales to Indonesia and India, despite guidelines stating it will not export weapons if they could be used for internal repression or fuel regional instability. Only last week Indonesian commanders deployed Scorpion tanks in its campaign to crush separatists in the province of Aceh after earlier assurances that British equipment would not be used for internal repression. More than 80 non-governmental organisations called last week for a global arms embargo on Indonesia after credible reports of systematic human rights violations by troops in Aceh. The value of British arms cleared for export to Indonesia rose from £2m in 2000 to over £40m last year, a 20-fold increase. Weapons sales approved for India – where ministers are still trying to clinch a £1bn deal for the sale of Hawk jets – have doubled since 2001 and totalled more than £110m last year. Full Story

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