Archive for August, 2008

18
Aug
08

H&K guns illegally exported to Georgian war zone

Georgian elite forces fighting in South Ossetia have been illegally armed with Heckler & Koch assault rifles.

According to Human Rights Watch, the Georgian military “used indiscriminate and disproportionate force resulting in civilian deaths in South Ossetia”. However, that hasn’t stopped these war criminals from being customers of Heckler & Koch!

When Heckler & Koch applied for permission to supply 230 assault rifles to Georgia, the German government refused on the grounds that Georgia was involved in a war. But as any successful arms company knows, there are many ways to get around these obstacles, and sure enough, the German-made weapons showed up in Georgia anyway!

To quote the head of BITS, “It doesn’t matter how these weapons landed in Georgia; whether they were illegally exported from Germany, whether a licensed exporter violated German laws or whether a recipient of the weapons who acquired them legally in Germany, further exported them.”

The point is, that’s just how the arms industry works.

And which department of Heckler & Koch is responsible for sales to Georgia and other non-NATO countries? Check the corporate website: It’s Heckler & Koch GB, based at Unit 3, Easter Park, Lenton Lane, Nottingham NG7 2PX.

So next time you see pictures of wretched South Ossetian civilians clutching the bodies of their loved ones amid the shredded ruins of their homes, just remember: a company in Nottingham helped to make that happen.

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16
Aug
08

Police give H&K guns to children

Child posing with police H&K submachine gun

Child posing with police H&K submachine gun at a summer fete in London

Police are giving young children Heckler & Koch guns to handle at community events in England. At a recent summer fete in east London, the Met ran a stall displaying a H&K MP5 submachine gun. Children as young as seven were allowed to pose for photos holding the police weapon, which has a firing rate of 800 rounds per minute.

The stunt has been sharply criticised by MPs and anti-gun campaigners. MP Jim Fitzpatrick said  “Giving young children real guns to handle is inappropriate. It could be glamorising the weapons and creating familiarity which is plainly wrong.”

George Galloway MP said “The foolish display at this festival can serve only to normalise firearms or make they appear attractive, even glamorous. We are tragically used to seeing images of primary school aged boys handling assault rifles in Liberia or Mogadishu, but in Limehouse?!”

Police defended the initiative, claiming that it is intended to “divert people away from gun crime”, but Lyn Costello, co-founder of Mothers Against Murder and Aggression, called it “a serious error of judgment.”

And it seems that this event was not a one-off: “We’ve done this kind of thing in other places” said Superintendent Tarrant of the Met’s CO19 firearms unit. “We will continue doing it in future.”




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This blog is all about Nottingham-based opposition to the arms trade. If you would like to be notified about upcoming events and important campaign news, you can subscribe to the mailing list on the web or by sending an e-mail to nottsantimilitarism-subscribe (at) lists.riseup.net.

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