External resources relating to Germany

The activist Joshua Wong has called for Germany to stop the export of riot control weapons and equipment to Hong Kong police, as he embarked on a global tour to promote his pro-democracy message.

Hong Kong police were using water cannon manufactured in Germany to suppress the protests against a proposed new extradition bill that flared up on the streets of the city in late March, the prominent activist said. “They [German manufacturers] should not be the supporters of Hong Kong riot police.”

 

This briefing updates the July 2016 report ‘Border Wars: the arms dealers profiting from Europe’s refugee tragedy’ . It shows that the European policy response to the refugee tragedy continues to provide a booming border security market for Europe’s arms and security firms, some of whom are involved in selling arms to the Middle East and North Africa and all of whom encourage European policies focused on keeping refugees out. It’s a win-win for the security corporations, but the cost is a deadly toll for migrants forced into ever more dangerous routes as they flee wars, conflict and oppression.

The refugee crisis facing Europe has caused consternation in the corridors of power, and heated debate on Europe’s streets. It has exposed fundamental faultlines in the whole European project, as governments fail to agree on even limited sharing of refugees and instead blame each other. Far-right parties have surged in popularity exploiting austerity-impacted communities in putting the blame for economic recession on a convenient scapegoat as opposed to the powerful banking sector. This has been most potently seen in the UK, where leaders of the ‘Leave EU’ campaign unscrupulously amplified fears of mass migration to successfully mobilise support for Brexit.   Refugees fleeing terrible violence and hardship have been caught in the crossfire; forced to take ever more dangerous routes to get to Europe and facing racist attacks in host nations when they finally arrive.

However there is one group of interests that have only benefited from the refugee crisis, and in particular from the European Union’s investment in ‘securing’ its borders. They are the military and security companies that provide the equipment to border guards, the surveillance technology to monitor frontiers, and the IT infrastructure to track population movements.

This report turns a spotlight on those border security profiteers, examining who they are and the services they provide, how they both influence and benefit from European policies and what funding they receive from taxpayers. The report shows that far from being passive beneficiaries of EU largesse, these corporations are actively encouraging a growing securitisation of Europe’s borders, with some willing to provide ever more draconian technologies to do this.

The use of riot control agents (RCAs) as a method of warfare is prohibited under the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC). The Convention, however, permits the employment of such chemicals for law enforcement including domestic riot control purposes, provided they are used in “types and quantities” consistent with such purposes.

Whilst CWC States Parties are prohibited from developing RCA munitions for use in armed conflict, they may manufacture, acquire and utilise delivery systems to disseminate appropriate “types and quantities” of RCAs for law enforcement. However, there is continuing ambiguity as to the nature and specifications of those means of delivery that are prohibited under the Convention. This ambiguity has potentially dangerous consequences, allowing divergent interpretations, policy and practice amongst States Parties to emerge.

Of particular concern – given the current research and development of unmanned systems - are the implications for the regulation of “remote control” RCA means of delivery. These are dissemination mechanisms incorporating automatic or semi-automatic systems where the operator is directing operation of the platform and/or RCA delivery device at a distance from the target. Certain “remote control” devices incorporate target activated mechanisms triggering automatic RCA dispersal, without realtime operational control, whilst others employ a “man in the loop” system, requiring human authorisation before the RCA is released.

This report highlights the ongoing development, testing, production and promotion by a range of State and commercial entities of a wide variety of “remote control” RCA means of delivery including: indoor fixed installation RCA dispersion devices; external area clearing or area denial devices; automatic grenade launchers; multiple munition launchers; delivery mechanisms on unmanned ground vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles.

The International Institute of Strategic Studies earlier this year called Mexico the third most deadly conflict in the world. While the war is purportedly between the state and drug traffickers, Mexican police, military and civilian institutions are deeply involved in protecting drug trafficking organizations, and many of those killed, tortured, or disappeared are Mexican and Central American families who have nothing to do with the drugs trade. European and U.S. governments and arms producers are well aware of the Mexican government’s involvement in widespread abuses, which is well documented, but the weapons kept flowing...

A new report highlights Israel’s use of supposedly “non-lethal weapons” against unarmed Palestinian protesters.

The report – “Proven Effective: Crowd control weapons in the Occupied Territories” – was published by the group Who Profits and launched at a conference in Jerusalem on 10 September.

Focusing on tear gas, skunk water and “The Scream” (a high volume acoustic device strapped atop Israeli military vehicles), the report documents their regular use to violently crush unarmed Palestinian demonstrators throughout the occupied West Bank, including East Jerusalem.

The following report highlights three local and international companies that manufacture “non-lethal” crowd control weapons. These weapons are currently used by Israeli authorities and security forces, mainly to suppress non-violent demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, in violation of the right to freedom of expression and association. Despite the fact that they are often labeled as “nonlethal” weapons, they have already been proven as potentially lethal in different incidents around the world, when the use of these weapons led to the death of demonstrators.

The report focuses on three types of weapons as case studies: tear gas canisters, which are produces and marketed by Combined Systems, Inc. (CSI) and M.R. Hunter; “the Scream”, manufactured by Electro-Optics Research & Development (EORD) and LRAD; and “the Skunk”, which is manufactured by Odortec, with the supporting companies: Man and BeitAlfa Technologies. The report will highlight the harmful consequences of these weapons, including their potentially lethal effects. The occupied Palestinian territories are being used as a lab for testing new civil oppression weapons on humans, in order to label them as “proven effective” for marketing abroad.

Police appear to have used tear gas manufactured by US and South African-based companies on the 3rd anniversary of Bahrain’s mass protests.  Images received by Bahrain Watch show tear gas canisters identical to those manufactured by Federal Laboratories (US/UK) and Rheinmetall Denel Munitions (German/South African), apparently used on February 14, 2014. This follows a May 2012 special briefing by US Senior Administration Officials confirming that the US “has maintained a pause on most arms sales and licenses to the Government of Bahrain”. A similar statement was made in January 2012 by the State Department confirming a halt on ‘most security assistance’, including item sales that can be used against protesters, to Bahrain.

Abstract: The intensification of militarized violence, racist terror and destructive dehumanization across the globe makes it imperative to examine the corresponding formations of securocratic regimes in the centres of power.  With a focus on a united Europe, my essay interrogates the ubiquitous penetration of militarization into everyday life-worlds.  My research suggests that in these interior borderlands, emergent cultures of militarization are normalized by recourse to racialization, criminalization and securitization, which in turn gives rise to new intimacies of violence, dehumanization and othering within expanding networks of fortification in a self-proclaimed white society.

The GSG 9 der Bundespolizei (originally the German abbreviation of Grenzschutzgruppe 9 or Border Guard Group 9) is the elite counter-terrorism and special operations unit of the German Federal Police...

GSG-9 (GrenzSchutzGruppe 9) is a special forces counter-terrorism service of the German government. The group was formed on April 17th, 1973 and features approximately 250 personnel under the authority of the German Government and its Federal Police. The group is specially-trained in counter-terrorism tactics and weaponry and serves in a variety of roles that include clandestine operations, VIP protection and embassy protection. Its organization involves airborne, maritime, and training forces as well as frontline land units and technical specialists.

There are a total of 19 GSG9 German Special Police Weapons in the Military Factory. Entries are listed below in alphanumeric order (1 to Z). Flag images indicative of country of origin and not necessarily the primary operator.