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The Global Net - Stop the Arms Trade

Stephan and Magdalena from the Arms Information Centre (RIB) visited Scotland in early March 2019 to introduce us to Global Net - Stop the Arms Trade 

Their mission was to remind us that International cooperation is essential if we are to limit the harms of arms trade - arms manufacturers often have operations that are global; they manoeuvre to avoid national restrictions,  sometimes exporting whole factories to bypass national laws or make their legal entity to avoid reparations required by international law. National laws often make it very difficult for victims of weapons to receive any compensation. For example, a Somalian soldier who lost a leg and could identify the rifle as made in Germany would have to be in Germany to seek legal redress - you cannot file a complaint without being on German soil. They are making public, visible detailed case studies on arms manufacturers and the arms they cause on the Global Net website.

 

 

The Arms Information Centre– RüstungsInformationsBüro work with International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and are interested in working with Scottish based CAAT, Don’t Bank on the Bomb, SCND, SWILPF and local CND groups and peace movement organisations. If in the UK we get access to footage of the marketing that goes on in arms fairs, or if we do research that documents details of how arms manufacturers operate, they would like to host these on the website. They would like the Global Net to be an international hub of information from all over the world.

At the moment the Global Net website carries case studies of the Israeli arms industry developed by Shir Hever, an independent economic researcher and a journalist at the Real News Network, and by Wolfgang Landgraeber. Israel’s arms industry has been specialising in drones and surveillance. They chillingly advertising their “experience” and the fact that their equipment is tested on real people.

The website also carries case studies concerning German arms companies. Germany mainly manufactures small arms. One case that is documented in detail concerns the company Heckler and Koch who exports thousands of G36 assault rifles. Thousands were sold illegally to conflict regions in Mexico in violation of the laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. Many eventually ended up in the hands of drug cartels. Exposure of illegal trading has helped to result in Heckler and Koch being taken to court and wider publicity about the terrible harm of the trade. The company were fined 3.7 million. This work has also helped to link-up concerned lawyers in Mexico and in Germany.

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