International Law https://wri-irg.org/en en War profiteer of the month: Textron https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2017/war-profiteer-month-textron <div data-history-node-id="27179" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 29 Mar 2017</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <p></p><div alt="" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="68a3eb6a-c13e-4efb-8f97-7bbe041263b8" title="" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity align-right"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/textron-logo.home.png?itok=hp9aDfLA 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/textron-logo.home.png?itok=hp9aDfLA" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p><strong>Textron</strong> is an American global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technologies industrial conglomerate. Textron includes several companies including Bell Helicopter, Cessna Aircraft, and Beechcraft, Textron Systems, and has offices across the USA and in the United Kingdom. The company's total revenue in 2015 was over $13 billion, and have applied to export to authoritarian states and countries in <a href="https://www.caat.org.uk/resources/mapping/organisation/5431">conflict across the world</a>, including to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, United Arab Emirates, Taiwan, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, Egypt and Afghanistan.</p> <h2 class="western">Cluster bombs</h2> <p class="western">Textron Systems, a subsidiary of Textron, was the last US company to build cluster munitions – the company designed and built the CBU-105, a “precision-guided” sensor fuzed weapon, which scatters a large number of smaller “bomblets” across an area. Each weapon is made up of ten submunitions, each containing four warheads. The CBU-105 was originally based on a non-guided cluster bomb, the CBU-97, and was originally deployed (but not used) in the late '90s during the Kosovo War. It was first used during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Each bomb cost $360,000.</p> <p class="western">In September 2016, the company announced that they were ending the production of the CBU-105, with “reduced orders, a volatile political environment and international weapons treaties that negatively affect the “ownability” of it's shares” <a href="http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/08/textron-cluster-bomb-manufacturer-ending-production">cited as reasons</a> for the decision. The companies offices in the USA were the site of <a href="http://www.lowellsun.com/local/ci_30099765/protesters-want-u-s-stop-selling-textron-s">regular protests </a>in 2016.</p> <p class="western">However, the cluster bombs that Textron designed, built, and profited from continue to kill and maim across the world. In December 2016. <a href="https://theintercept.com/2016/12/14/banned-by-119-countries-u-s-cluster-bombs-continue-to-orphan-yemeni-children/">The Intercept published evidence</a> that the the shell casings from the bomblets that make up the CBU-105 were identified after an attack on the village of al-Hamya, in Yemen, by the Saudi-led coalition, which killed a local fisherman and damaged fishing boats. Human Rights Watch confirmed that the same bomb was dropped on al-Hamya in 2015, damaging several homes.</p> <p class="western">In 2010, the US approved the sale of 1,300 CBU-105 bombs to Saudi Arabia, and an additional 400 in 2011. In mid-2016, the Obama administration blocked a transfer of cluster munitions to Saudi Arabia. Despite ending production, the Pentagon continues to maintain a large stockpile of cluster munitions, including those built by Textron Systems. While over 100 countries have signed the Cluster Munitions Convention banning the use, development, production, acquisition, stockpiling, transfer of cluster bombs, the convention <em>hasn't</em><span style="font-style: normal;"><span style="font-weight: normal;"> been signed by the USA, Saudi Arabia, China or Russia, among others. </span></span></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programme/war-profiteers" hreflang="en">War Profiteers</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programmes/war-profiteer-companies" hreflang="en">War profiteer companies</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/216" hreflang="en">United States of America</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/149" hreflang="en">Yemen</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/121" hreflang="en">Saudi Arabia</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/63" hreflang="en">arms trade</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Companies</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/510" hreflang="en">Textron</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=27179&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="GXdXc_BdKGoBrRBpJgCBxCowgqQdhER-9GTImqgnm30"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Wed, 29 Mar 2017 10:18:38 +0000 Andrew 27179 at https://wri-irg.org Dr. Jalal Nofal: Connecting Relief Work and Civil Activism in Syria https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2016/dr-jalal-nofal-connecting-relief-work-and-civil-activism-syria <div data-history-node-id="26892" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 11 Nov 2016</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><strong>Omar Abbas</strong></p> <p>Dr. Jalal Nofal, born 1963 in Damascus to a working class family from as-Sweida’, is a prominent psychiatrist and activist who has been involved in politics and relief efforts throughout his lifetime.</p> <p>In 1978 Nofal joined the <a href="http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/48362">Communist Action Party (CAP)</a>, after rejecting the Syrian Communist Party’s pro-regime stances, particularly during the Muslim Brotherhood uprising (1976-82) and the ensuing government crackdown. “With regards to the Hama massacre (1982), for me as a leftist, the Communist Action Party took the most balanced and satisfactory stances,” explained the doctor.</p> <p>Nofal, a medical student at Damascus University at the time, remained an active party member until his arrest in 1983, when the regime launched a nationwide crackdown against leftists. He was released in 1991 after more than eight years in prison. Like many of his <a href="https://english.al-akhbar.com/node/9744">contemporaries</a>, Nofal decided to resume his studies, graduating from medical school and specializing in psychiatry.</p> <p>Ideologically, the imprisonment further reinforced the democratic tendency of Nofal’s leftism, perhaps at the expense of his socialist beliefs, not unlike other former prisoners who brought their new ideas back with them to the Communist Action Party. Nofal recalled about how “the party (together with other groups) took a greater focus on democracy and countering the Baʿth party’s propaganda.”Despite these efforts, the nineties ultimately witnessed little change, as the regime rejected democratization efforts.</p> <p> </p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="6ac6ef58-a15e-4c73-9ba8-a6dfdd0d12a4" data-langcode="en"> <img class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/banner-against-arrest-of-dr.-nofal-6-1-2014-874x492.home.jpg?itok=J9vDhyda" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/banner-against-arrest-of-dr.-nofal-6-1-2014-874x492.home.jpg?itok=J9vDhyda 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>A banner condemning the detention of Dr. Nofal when he was arrested in Damascus on January 6, 2014</figcaption> </figure> <p>This political dormancy lasted until 2000, when Bashar al-Asad’s rise to power and promising rhetoric prompted many Syrians to renew their engagement in the democratization of society.</p> <p>Nofal enthusiastically received these developments and joined the <a href="http://cdf-sy.org/content/">Committees to Defend Democracy and Human Rights</a> [CDF, a member of the <a href="http://www.iccnow.org/">Coalition for the International Criminal Court (CICC)</a> and <a href="http://euromedrights.org/">Euromed Rights</a>), and participated in the Damascus Spring, when leftists and liberals worked on uniting the opposition and exposing the lack of reforms under “reformist” Bashar al-Asad. After sensing the danger of this movement, the regime cracked down on it as well, once again forcing political activity into secrecy.</p> <p>With the eruption of the so-called Arab Spring, however, Syria rediscovered outspoken political activism, as reformism and solidarity protests returned to the forefront.</p> <p>Before the start of the revolution in March 2011, Nofal was working on a campaign to improve public transport under the slogan “Public Transport that Respects Citizens”. After the revolution began, however, he transitioned from reformist calls to participating in the revolutionary activism sweeping the country. Nofal was convinced that “all democratic movements and individuals must take part in revolutionary activism, regardless of ideology or religion.”</p> <p>Nofal worked with the Damascus Neighborhoods Coordinating Committee to organize a <a href="https://www.facebook.com/Aswatd/videos/10150244430036125/">protest</a> in the capital’s Arnus Square on May 2, 2011, demanding democracy, an end to the regime’s violence and sectarianism, and the lifting of the siege on the southern city of Darʿa. He was arrested at the protest and spent ten days in ʿAdra prison before being released in an amnesty. He then returned to work with the committee, though it was soon dissolved after its founders were arrested.</p> <p>After that, he joined the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/docscoordinate/videos">Damascus Doctors Coordinating Committee</a>, which was set up to cure patients, especially protesters, who were routinely arrested, abused, and tortured at hospitals in the presence of Dr. Nofal and his colleagues. This campaign was effectively halted, as were most others, by widespread arrest campaigns.</p> <p>Nofal also worked with the <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/03/the-aid-workers-who-hold-key-to-rebuilding-shattered-syria">Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC)</a>, which in his words was “one of the few organizations where revolutionary humanitarian workers were allowed to operate.” Nofal’s relief work focused on psychological and social support for internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Damascus and victims and witnesses of conflict and siege throughout Rif Dimashq. “Working in Damascus with IDPs was far more dangerous as we were accused of supporting terrorism, while we had more liberties in Rif Dimashq due to the looser grip of the regime,” clarified Nofal.</p> <p>The government continued to clamp down on relief efforts, accusing any aid agency of supporting terrorism and arresting and exiling many field workers. In April 2012, Nofal himself was arrested while on SARC duty in Rif Dimashq and subjected to torture while in prison.</p> <p>Despite all the hardships, Nofal went on to contribute to the foundation of a new political movement, the <a href="https://www.rosalux.de/fileadmin/rls_uploads/pdfs/sonst_publikationen/The_Left_and_the_Arab_Revolutions_english.pdf">Syrian Left Coalition</a>, upon his release, though it failed to gain traction.</p> <p>Towards the second half of 2012, the armed struggle began to take an increasingly prominent role, but Nofal persisted in his peaceful initiatives. In 2013, he was a founding member of the National Call Movement, which had over 200 members in Damascus and “called for the establishment of a democratic civil state that rejects sectarianism, Islamization and civil war,” as Nofal put it.</p> <p>The National Call Movement members aimed to revive the peaceful movement and along with the <a href="https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/budour-hassan/damascus%E2%80%99-stifled-voice-from-left">Syrian Revolutionary Youth</a> they installed speakers chanting anti-regime songs across Damascus. By early 2014, the network was exposed and disbanded; its members, including Nofal, were arrested and forced to confess under torture at the capital’s Military Intelligence Branch 215.</p> <p>After his release in early July, Nofal continued his relief and civil society work, only to be arrested less than two weeks later. He was <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2013/06/25/syria-counterterrorism-court-used-stifle-dissent">accused of funding terrorism</a> by the Counter-Terrorism Court for having provided relief with his wife in Yarmuk, and spent six months in prison. When Nofal was let out in January 2015, he was smuggled out of the country and fled to Germany to join his wife, poet and activist <a href="http://drsc-sy.org/en/about-us/">Khawla Dunia</a>, who had fled the country earlier.</p> <p>Nevertheless, this reunion did not last long. “What I could offer in Germany was far less than that which I could in Turkey,” explained the doctor. Nofal currently resides in the Turkish southern border town of Gaziantep, where he is a regular guest on programs such as those of <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en/work_group/alwan-fm/">Alwan FM</a>, <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en/work_group/radio-hara/">Radio Hara</a>, and <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en/work_group/radio-rozana/">Radio Rozana</a>. He is also part of <a href="https://www.uossm.us/our-work/programs/mental-health-and-psychosocial-support/">a team</a> of psychiatrists and social workers who work in schools and orphanages, while training therapists and supporting similar activities inside Syria.</p> <p>Jalal Nofal is an example of how many Syrian revolutionaries have never drawn a line between two inextricably intertwined realms: relief work and civil society activism. In their opinion, it is in fact impossible to ignore the political dimension that has led to the current suffering.</p> <p><em>Omar Abbas is a student from Damascus.</em></p> <p><em>This article was originally published on <a href="http://www.syriauntold.com/en/2016/08/dr-jalal-nofal-connecting-relief-work-and-civil-activism/">SyriaUntold</a>, <span>an independent website exploring the storytelling of the Syrian struggle and the diverse forms of resistance.</span></em></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/158" hreflang="en">Syria</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/69" hreflang="en">Obituaries</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=26892&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="LQ79kCg_fQItImqh0jeJbHlX-dV_44p57kFkA2DY5iA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Fri, 11 Nov 2016 12:21:11 +0000 HBrock 26892 at https://wri-irg.org War profiteers of the month: Ferrovial, Broadspectrum and Wilson Security https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2016/war-profiteers-month-ferrovial-broadspectrum-and-wilson-security <div data-history-node-id="26738" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 01 Sep 2016</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p> </p> <p> </p> <div data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_1_3" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f42add7d-047c-469d-8772-c35017ddc93d" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_325x325/public/images/200px-Ferrovial_Logo.svg_.img_assist_custom-144x32.png?itok=7QUpyyyt 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/medium/public/images/200px-Ferrovial_Logo.svg_.img_assist_custom-144x32.png?itok=o3lxD0Yk" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p>Ferrovial is a Spanish multinational company, with a broad range of interests - they are involved in the construction of the Gugenheim Museum in Bilbao, the construction of the M3 motorway in Ireland, and manage toll roads across Europe. Ferrovial owns 90% of the company Broadspectrum, which runs Australia's offshore immigration detention centres in Papua New Guinea.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="8c76caa8-3ee3-46c5-91c8-9531aa3858c4" data-langcode="en"> <img class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/24869878046_20cc43dd9f_z.home.jpg?itok=u36FUrfV" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/24869878046_20cc43dd9f_z.home.jpg?itok=u36FUrfV 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Protests against detention of refugees on Manus and Nauru.</figcaption> </figure> <p>In recent months Ferrovial and Broadspectrum have come under intense pressure because of their role managing Australia's off-shore immigration detention centres on the islands of Nauru and Manus after revelations in the 'Nauru Files'. <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/ng-interactive/2016/aug/10/the-nauru-files-the-lives-of-asylum-seekers-in-detention-detailed-in-a-unique-database-interactive">The Nauru Files</a> are made up of over 2,000 incident reports leaked in August 2016, published by The Guardian newspaper, and reveal <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/aug/10/the-nauru-files-2000-leaked-reports-reveal-scale-of-abuse-of-children-in-australian-offshore-detention">"assaults, sexual abuse, self-harm attempts, child abuse and living conditions"</a> taking place in the detention centres, and paint "a picture of routine dysfunction and cruelty." The indefinite detention of people who have committed on crime has been declared illegal by the <a href="http://unhcr.org.au/news/unhcr-calls-immediate-movement-refugees-asylum-seekers-humane-conditions/">UN</a>, <a href="https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/08/02/australia-appalling-abuse-neglect-refugees-nauru">Human Rights Watch</a> and <a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2016/08/australia-abuse-neglect-of-refugees-on-nauru/">Amnesty International</a>.</p> <p>Professors at Stanford Law School believe it is possible the companies directors and employees could be held "liable for crimes against humanity", because of the abuse faced by people interned on the islands. Ferrovial announced in April 2016 that they will not attempt to reacquire the contract for running the detention centres when the current contract ends in 2017.</p> <p>Several other companies are involved in the management and running of the camps (since 2012 in the case of Nauru, and 2014 in the case of Manus). <a href="http://www.waca.net.au/boycott_wilson">Wilson Security</a> is subcontracted by Broadspectrum to provide security services on Australia's offshore detention centres, and were targetted by activists in a <a href="/en/node/26724">recent blockade of an arms fair in Melbourne, Australia</a>, and protests and vigils across the country<a href="/en/node/26724">.</a> Within Australia, Wilson Security's guards protect government buildings, foreign embassies and politicians and are well known for their many carparks. Since 2013 and the election of the Coalition government, Wilsons have successfully bid for more than $478 million worth of contracts.</p> <p><strong>Update: <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/01/wilson-security-to-withdraw-from-australias-offshore-detention-centres">Wilson Security</a> announced in September 2016 they will withdraw from the contract in Nauru and Manus in 2017.</strong></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programme/war-profiteers" hreflang="en">War Profiteers</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programmes/war-profiteer-companies" hreflang="en">War profiteer companies</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/128" hreflang="en">Papua New Guinea</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/251" hreflang="en">Australia</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/201" hreflang="en">Spain (State of)</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/273" hreflang="en">gender and militarism</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/60" hreflang="en">Civil disobedience/NVDA</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/507" hreflang="en">Police militarisation</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Police militarisation theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/border-militarisation" hreflang="en">Border militarisation</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/pm-themes/who-profits" hreflang="en">Who profits?</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=26738&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="Y4m-lZDexJuGn173OmzCUv9GX4xc_x0u6nTNz8GIdns"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Thu, 01 Sep 2016 15:15:05 +0000 Andrew 26738 at https://wri-irg.org A Perspective on Israel's Arms Trade https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2016/perspective-israels-arms-trade <div data-history-node-id="26527" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 08 Jun 2016</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p align="JUSTIFY"><strong>During her time working as an intern at War Resisters' International, Taya Govreen-Segal, a consceintious objector, delivered a talk to the “Britain and Palestine: Past History and Future Role” conference, held at Sarum College, Salisbury, UK, on 13th February. Below is a transcript, providing detailed analysis of the role of the arms trade in the ongoing occupation of Palestine.</strong></p> <p align="JUSTIFY">I am going to assume that you already know about the violation of human rights in the West Bank and Gaza, that you've heard about the occupation, the military rule and siedge, and focus on one of the forces profiting from this situation and maintaining it: the arms trade.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"> <div alt="Gaza, summer 2014, source: activestills.org" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4a60a798-9d27-4940-b690-d2d44958059f" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="Gaza, summer 2014, source: activestills.org" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/1.home.JPG?itok=-6PpPXeL" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/1.home.JPG?itok=-6PpPXeL 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Gaza, summer 2014, source: activestills.org</figcaption> </figure> <p align="JUSTIFY">I would like to start with Gaza 2014. By the end of the 50 days of Operation Protective Edge, Gaza was destroyed. In Gaza, approximately 2,200 people were killed, 40-70% of them civilians, while in Israel 5 Israeli civilians, 1 Thai worker, and 66 soldiers were killed.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">During the battle in Gaza, newspapers started reporting on new weapons that were put into use. These weapons immediately started being marketed as “battle proven”.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">As Barbara Opal-Rome wrote in Defence News “as it is we do aggressive marketing abroad, but the work of the IDF [Israeli Defence Force] definitely affects the marketing. For the military industries, this operation (Protective Edge) is like drinking a super strong energy drink; it just gives a strong push forward.”</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><div alt="" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="f869fdfb-0f98-4d02-b173-ebccdcdd9e74" title="hamushim info graphic 1" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/2_0.home.jpg?itok=oXfhT3Ql 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/2_0.home.jpg?itok=oXfhT3Ql" alt="" title="hamushim info graphic 1" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p> </p> <p align="JUSTIFY"><span>How this process happens is explained by General Yoav Galant, commander of operation “Cast Led” in Yotam Feldman's film, “<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mIH9FRPxcY">The Lab</a>”: Making blood into money. This is how Israel got to be the largest arms exporter in the world, in relation to the size of the economy.</span></p> <p align="JUSTIFY">When I’m talking about Israeli military exports, I’m talking about weapons, ammunition and combat aircraft as well as guerrilla warfare training, police training, tactics and tools for riot control, executions, and surveillance and intelligence technologies. This is our contribution to humanity.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">In order to understand the arms trade, I find it important to understand how the Israeli arms trade developed, how it receives public backing, and its tight connection to the IDF and the occupation.</p> <h2 align="JUSTIFY">The development of the arms trade</h2> <p align="JUSTIFY">Manufacturing arms started as early as the 1920s in illegal workshops hidden from the British Mandate when Zionists who “made aliya” - that is, migrated to historical Palestine, often illegally - discovered that the Arab population already living there didn't think much of their plan of creating a Jewish state in the area.</p> <p></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div alt="IMI factory, 1955" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="26b45531-5aa0-43c6-92e6-e0981ff9b3c9" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="IMI factory, 1955" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/3_0.img_assist_custom-417x279.jpg?itok=Jfi0jPls" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/3_0.img_assist_custom-417x279.jpg?itok=Jfi0jPls 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>IMI factory, 1955</figcaption> </figure> By 1933, IMI (Israeli Military Industries) was founded, and is one of the largest Israeli arms companies to this day. <p align="JUSTIFY">Israel was founded in 1948 with the Zionist narrative of a small country surrounded by enemies, of the Jews after the holocaust having nowhere else to go, and of a young country surviving against all odds, thanks to the heroic young people fighting for their homeland. The young state was diplomatically isolated due to the Arab League boycott that threatened to cut trade connections with any country that traded or had diplomatic connections with Israel.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">Ben Gurion, the first prime minister of Israel came up with a plan to create trade and diplomatic connections and gain support in the UN: to “start from the periphery” and make connections with nations seeking independence from colonialism, mainly in Africa. One of the main needs of these countries was arms, which Israel was happy to sell to them from its own excess.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">A good example is Burma (now Myanmar). In 1954, Burma was the first country to buy arms from Israel, and a year later, the president of Burma was the first president to come on an official visit to Israel.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">While Israel created rifles and grenades, it was never self-sufficient in making all of its own weapons, and in these years was very much dependant on France for weapons, including tanks and planes, which it improved and refurbished.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">In 1967, following the Six-Day War that France condemned, France stopped arming Israel.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">In 1973, in the “Yom Kippur” War, Israel ran out of both weapons and foreign currency. This led Israel to a decision to start exporting arms as a way of securing both needs.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">At this point, Europe, the US and the communist bloc were already controlling the arms industry. What could Israel bring to the table? What would be its expertise? The answer was weapons not for fighting an army, but for oppressing and fighting civil uprisings, and controlling the civilian population: a field in which Israel had no lack of experience.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">By the early 1980s, arms export was 25% of Israel’s export.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">In the 90s, the global arms trade underwent two significant changes: following the cold war, there was less of a need for weapons, and Europe and the US changed their values and started considering human rights. This was a good opportunity for Israel to replace them in arming countries that violate human rights.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">By Israeli law, Israel is bound by the decisions of the UN Security Council, but this didn't stop Israel from selling weapons to Rwanda during the genocide, former Yugoslavia during the war in Serbia, or South Africa during apartheid.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">Even this September, Israeli arms found their way to Myanmar, a country that has been under EU and US embargoes since early 90s.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><div alt="" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="c84cdd0c-f1b2-47cc-b368-364896f4da90" title="hamushim info graphic 2" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/4_0.home.jpg?itok=vgoFPgtK 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/4_0.home.jpg?itok=vgoFPgtK" alt="" title="hamushim info graphic 2" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p align="JUSTIFY">Israel has the largest security industry in relation to the economy of any country in the world, exporting weapons to 130 different countries. All the countries marked in red on this map buy Israeli weapons. Israel refuses to join the 82 states that have ratified the Arms Trade Treaty and commit to not selling weapons that will be used for genocide, crimes against humanity and violation of human rights, since it fears signing it will lead states to stop trading with Israel.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">And this is how Israeli weapons look in the world:</p> <p></p><div alt="" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="2a0685cd-83aa-4e4e-9db1-9e60fc898238" title="" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/5.home.jpg?itok=1b2Nr0Hj 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/5.home.jpg?itok=1b2Nr0Hj" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p><em>(From left to right: Israeli weapons in Ethiopia, Ferguson, Missouri, you know, the Black Lives Matter protests that were violently suppressed by the police? The police were trained by Israel. Israeli tanks in Brazil, where Israel trained the police to treat the favelas of Rio based on the IDF’s experience in Gaza; an Israeli fence in Kashmir between India and Pakistan; Israeli weapons Nigeria, in Peru, Israeli drones over the skies of Gaza, Ferguson again, and an Israeli fence in the Mexico-US border.)</em></p> <p align="JUSTIFY">But Israel isn't only one of the largest exporters of arms, in 2014 it was the 6<sup>th</sup> largest importer of arms, importing mainly from the US, which provides Israel with a couple billion shekels of military aid every year, of which 75% must be used to buy from the US. From Britain, Israel imports mainly components for combat aircraft and drones, as well as anti-armour ammunition and weapon night sights.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"> <div alt="UK arms links to Israel" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="55466c6d-aeaf-4f06-a3dd-ec35f57c749d" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="UK arms links to Israel" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/6.home.jpg?itok=luP_rZZq" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/6.home.jpg?itok=luP_rZZq 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>UK arms links to Israel</figcaption> </figure> <p align="JUSTIFY">Two examples of arms companies that have UK sites and arm Israel are:</p> <ul> <li> <p align="JUSTIFY">Elbit Systems: an Israeli company that manufactures the Hermes 900, that was first used in operation “Protective Edge”, has 4 sites in the UK</p> </li> <li> <p align="JUSTIFY">G4S: a private British security company that provides services for businesses in the West Bank settlements, detention centers, prisons imprisoning Palestinian political prisoners and checkpoints.</p> </li> </ul> <p align="JUSTIFY">Overall, in 2014 Britain granted nearly £12 million worth of export licences to Israel, and over £25 million worth of export licenses for dual use.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">Just an example for what dual use may mean, because it's a very ambiguous term.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">On my first visit to an unmanned arms exhibition, I was surprised by the way drones were marketed. Suddenly the main use for drones was “carrying cameras” and “delivering packages”. When I asked an IAI (Israel Aerospace industries) representative about a 30 meter long drone whether it could also be used to carry bombs, he answered: “things like using drones for executions in Gaza – we don't talk about them”. It's hard for me to imagine that specific one would be considered a dual use item, but maybe the components were? I have no way of knowing.</p> <h2 align="JUSTIFY">Public Backing</h2> <p align="JUSTIFY">Moving on to understanding the root of public backing for the arms trade, it's interesting to look at the popular narrative on Israel's security situation; a small country surrounded by enemies, diplomatically isolated because of BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions), the Jews having nowhere else to go, and of survival against all odds, thanks to our strong army and cutting edge technology.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">This narrative - that has stayed almost the same since the founding of the state - is maintained through the educational system and media, and breeds fear. Fear legitimises military solutions and militarisation of society as necessities, as the only way for us to be secure. For example: This picture is of an armed soldier speaking in a school shows a common scenario, and one which I experienced many time throughout high school; soldiers coming into school to share their experience, explain about the different positions in the military, and encourage “meaningful service”.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">Fear and militarisation contribute to a lack of transparency. Anything that has to do with “security” is left to the decision of a small inner circle, far away from public discourse for “security reasons”. This is true of anything that has to do with “security”, whether it's the question of Israel's possession of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, or the security budget. Only 20% of the security budget is transparent in the Knesset (the Israeli Parliament) and Ministry of Finance that need to approve it. Additionally, huge sums of money are added to the initial budget throughout the year without being brought to parliament.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><div alt="" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="a31b2835-f6af-4ace-8ae4-6c7c6c73877b" title="7" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/7.home.jpg?itok=XPtstAc8 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/7.home.jpg?itok=XPtstAc8" alt="" title="7" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> <p align="JUSTIFY">Looking at the defence budget for 2015, you can see that after an addition for the month of December, an addition for Operation Protective Edge, a special security addition and the US military aid, the budget is nearly 20% larger than it was initially.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">This lack of transparency is also true of the arms trade. The export control department was founded only in 2007 following American pressure, and is part of the ministry of defence. It consists of 2-3 workers, who are responsible for monitoring 8,000 people and companies and 400,000 marketing and export licences a year. This information on the amount of licences, along with the figure of 130 countries were only exposed thanks to a freedom of information petition filed by Eitay Mack, an israeli human rights lawyer, but we have still to discover who are the 8,000 people and companies, since at the moment only 0.02% of their names are exposed.</p> <h2 align="JUSTIFY">Arms Trade and the Occupation</h2> <p align="JUSTIFY">This whole industry is dependent on the occupation and the IDF using the arms developed in war and in maintaining the occupation; not only do the Ministry of Defence and the government not stop the exports, they back it and assist them. Only recently it was revealed that the Ministry of Defence gives arms dealers letters of recommendation in which it states that the given weapon was successfully used by IDF soldiers.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">This is also visible in the ISDEF, Israel's largest arms exhibit, that is advertised as the best place to “meet your counterparts from Israel such as end users and decision makers from the: IDF, MOD (Ministry of Defence), Police, Prison Service, Fire Department, SAR (search and rescue), Defence Industries, Civil Security Agencies, and Government offices.” It also states that there will be “international officials and industry professionals from over 90 countries” but it is impossible to find a list of the countries.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"> <div alt="Source: ISDEF website" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="bf0c7382-35d2-4d34-ae04-c2be5d466308" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="Source: ISDEF website" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/8.home.jpg?itok=CWcCS2LV" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/8.home.jpg?itok=CWcCS2LV 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Source: ISDEF website</figcaption> </figure> Attending this exhibit as a journalist, it was the first time I was exposed to the arms trade, and I was shocked by how normal it seemed, all these people walking around looking at weapons that are “battle proven”, tested and proven to kill people, yet the whole atmosphere was just like any other exhibit, they could have been selling cameras or cosmetics just the same. <p align="JUSTIFY">But who are these arms dealers? Many of them are former high ranking officers, some still in reserve, going back and forth between the military and the industry. The IDF needs these the military industries to develop systems for it, while arms companies need the reputation of the IDF to promote overseas sales.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"> <div alt="Source: Hamushim" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="56c54f73-5181-4e3c-bc32-64ba62ab0c89" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="Source: Hamushim" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/9.home.jpg?itok=dhTtMdLB" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/9.home.jpg?itok=dhTtMdLB 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Source: Hamushim</figcaption> </figure> <p align="JUSTIFY">This Revolving door happens on a few levels:</p> <ul> <li>ex-combatants from special units go to be security guards in Saudi Arabia or Kenya (How would the recruiters in these countries even get the names of the ex-combatants?)</li> <li>Civil Administration Graduates go into consulting services, based on their experience in controlling civil population under military rule in the West Bank, and doing things like issuing entry permits to Palestinians.</li> <li>High ranking officers and generals go into export and mediation. Mediation is assisting other countries in selling to each other. In most places this kind of work requires a permit, but not in Israel.</li> </ul> <p align="JUSTIFY">This means that the generals, who choose to go to war, are invested in the new weapons used in combat as an advertisement for the products of their associates - products that can later be sold as "battle proven".</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">Like some of the historical uses of the arms trade, also nowadays the arms trade is used as a diplomatic tool: for example, selling arms to Rwanda and Nigeria in return for them abstaining in the UN Security Council vote on recognition of Palestine.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity"> <div alt="Source: Ynet" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="94f7bfab-cbd8-4066-9f81-f803823b1a07" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="Source: Ynet" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/10.home.jpg?itok=aX0K0LPV" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/10.home.jpg?itok=aX0K0LPV 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Source: Ynet</figcaption> </figure> <p>Another example is arms given at a discount to Rwanda and Uganda in return for them accepting asylum seekers from Sudan and Eritrea.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">And if you still aren't convinced, I would like to let the arms dealers speak for themselves, one said to “Haarez”: “A scenario in which there won't be a large military operation in 20 years will severely hurt the arms industries.”</p> <p>The question remaining is how we work against it. In Hamushim, we focus on Israeli society: by spreading information and campaigning we try and change the narrative of the military industries as necessary for security and shift the discourse to their part in waging war and profiting from it.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">General Yoav Galant spoke about the hypocrisy of countries condemning war and buying the arms tested in it, and I tend to agree. Anyone who wants this bloody conflict to end has to stop fuelling it with arms. And this is true for any conflict.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">Here in Europe, it looks like things are moving in the right direction: Israeli arms companies have been requested by the IDF to develop parts that up till now have been purchased from Europe because the supply isn't steady enough to rely on, and they fear that items may be banned from export to Israel.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">While it may seem that an arms embargo would have no effect on Israel, since it would be able to make its own weapons, this is not completely true. In addition to Israel being the 6<sup>th</sup> largest military importer, the agreements Israel have with the US stop it from manufacturing products that compete with those of American companies. Also, 75% of Israeli security manufacturing is for export. The Israeli military industries currently focus on developing innovative and new weapons or additions to existing weapons that may be used as a surprise in battlefield and will give a strategic advantage. Will it be financially feasible to develop arms knowing they can only be used by the IDF and not later be sold as battle proven?</p> <p>Looking at the British law, Britain has every reason to stop arms trade with Israel. According to British law, arms should not be sold if there is a risk that they will be used for internal repression, aggravate existing tensions or conflicts, and should take into account the buyer country's respect for international law. So according to its own laws Britain has every reason to stop trading arms with Israel.</p> <p>I would like to finish with an action that I find inspiring. This Elbit rooftop occupation stopped manufacturing for two days during Operation Protective Edge, and the charges against the activists were dropped because Elbit didn't want to expose what it was manufacturing fearing that may prove its activity was unlawful.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY">As activists interested in promoting a just peace between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean sea, stopping arms trade with Israel should be high up on our list of priorities. Arms trade with Israel is one of the most direct ways other countries are involved in the occupation and they should be pressured to stop that involvement. The Elbit rooftop occupation is just one of many ways to target this involvement.</p> <p align="JUSTIFY"></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div alt="Activists in the UK occupy the roof of the Elbit Systems factory" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="09389a58-21f7-4539-93f8-1ebda72481ae" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="Activists in the UK occupy the roof of the Elbit Systems factory" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/11.home.jpg?itok=JBrTg41A" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/11.home.jpg?itok=JBrTg41A 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Activists in the UK occupy the roof of the Elbit Systems factory</figcaption> </figure> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programme/war-profiteers" hreflang="en">War Profiteers</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/228" hreflang="en">Israel</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/444" hreflang="en">War starts here</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/62" hreflang="en">small arms</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/60" hreflang="en">Civil disobedience/NVDA</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/63" hreflang="en">arms trade</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Companies</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/430" hreflang="en">Elbit Systems</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=26527&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="ux_8UKJB5Q7LB2JZhbZU4ocTJ1spCGGU8o61ogIDAtg"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Wed, 08 Jun 2016 10:58:39 +0000 HBrock 26527 at https://wri-irg.org VIDEO: Sister Megan Rice describes Transform Now Plowshares action https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2016/video-sister-megan-rice-describes-transform-now-plowshares-action <div data-history-node-id="26138" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 29 Feb 2016</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>In 2012, Megan Rice was part of a group that entered the Oakridge National Laborotory in the United States, where nuclear weapons are developed and weapons-grade uranium is stored. The group - called 'Transform Now Plowshares' - hammered on the storage building, dawbed the walls of the storage building with blood and slogans, and hung banners. All three were arrested, and spent two years in prison. In January 2012 Megan (and fellow activist Paul Magno) toured Europe - a short video of Megan describing the day of the action can be found here: <a href="https://vimeo.com/151489882">https://vimeo.com/151489882</a></p> <p><iframe style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/151489882" frameborder="0" height="281" width="500"></iframe></p> <p><a href="https://vimeo.com/151489882">Megan Rice in London</a> from <a href="https://vimeo.com/user4456636">War Resisters' International</a> on <a href="https://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/216" hreflang="en">United States of America</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/61" hreflang="en">nuclear arms</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/60" hreflang="en">Civil disobedience/NVDA</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=26138&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="hvHnZrGHh_zG-ZDdPzpDjKW4_py_oq386cK1qUqMshE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 29 Feb 2016 10:57:08 +0000 Andrew 26138 at https://wri-irg.org Ukrainian conscientious objector on trial https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2016/ukrainian-conscientious-objector-trial-0 <div data-history-node-id="26135" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 29 Feb 2016</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p></p><div alt="" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_full" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="82934350-5c17-43a6-9ea0-e07608d5eebb" title="" data-langcode="en" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <img srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/kotsaba.img_assist_properties.jpg?itok=vZFvGGK- 1x" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_1300x1300/public/images/kotsaba.img_assist_properties.jpg?itok=vZFvGGK-" alt="" typeof="foaf:Image" class="img-responsive" /> </div> Ukrainian journalist and CO Ruslan Kotsaba is on trial in Ivano-Frankivsk. Ruslan has been in detention for almost a year, charged with treason and obstructing the military.  In a video addressed to the Ukrainian President, he declared his refusal to be drafted, saying he would rather go to prison for five years than turn a weapon on his "compatriots in the east". He called on his fellow countrymen to refuse to be drafted.  Ukrainian law does allow individuals to refuse military service, but this right is confined to a small group of religious minorities. Ruslan could face 15 years in jail. Observers from DFG-VK were present, and rallied outside the court. The trial is ongoing. <p><a href="/en/node/26085">Read more...</a></p> <p> </p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Prisoners for Peace</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Right to Refuse to Kill</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/157" hreflang="en">Ukraine</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/68" hreflang="en">WRI activists</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/58" hreflang="en">total objection</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/57" hreflang="en">Conscientious objection</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=26135&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="FCme1UaXXz24wYxy_RodPo8VU6Q8v0yFB290cDJun6Q"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Mon, 29 Feb 2016 10:45:23 +0000 Andrew 26135 at https://wri-irg.org European parliament votes for arms embargo against Saudi Arabia https://wri-irg.org/en/Eurpean-Parliament-Saudi-Arabia-Embargo <div data-history-node-id="26128" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 25 Feb 2016</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="7a0faf9e-0615-4884-b9b8-97beca8de585" data-langcode="en"> <img class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/1200px-Destroyed_house_in_the_south_of_Sanaa_12-6-2015-1.home.jpg?itok=ueWvtlw1" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/1200px-Destroyed_house_in_the_south_of_Sanaa_12-6-2015-1.home.jpg?itok=ueWvtlw1 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>A destroyed house in Yemen. Photo: wikipedia</figcaption> </figure> <p>The European Parliament has voted in support of an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia. The European Network Against the Arms Trade (ENAAT) were part of efforts to lobby Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) to impose the European-wide arms embargo. The lobbying action included groups from Germany, UK, Spain, Finland, France, Italy, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Belgium. Groups from across Europe tweeted and emailed MEP's using the #StopArmingSaudiArabia hashtag, and the vote was passed on the 25th February, despite being heavily opposed by diplomats from Saudi Arabia, <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/25/saudis-lobby-meps-before-arms-embargo-vote-over-yemen">who met with and wrote to MEPs before the vote</a>.</p> <p>The Saudi military has been at war with Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015, in support of Yemen's president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, and a UN reported leaked in January said that there have been <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/27/un-report-into-saudi-led-strikes-in-yemen-raises-questions-over-uk-role">“widespread and systematic”</a> targeting of civilians. The UN reported in early January that more than <a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-almost-2800-civilians-killed-as-civil-war-and-saudi-arabia-led-air-strikes-take-terrible-toll-a6797871.html">2,700 civilians have been killed</a>, amid allegations of the use of cluster munitions against civilian targets. Several European countries supply the Saudi military; Campaign Against the Arms Trade say the UK has sold £2.8 billion worth of arms since the bombing began. Other European countries have already suspended arms sales.</p> <p>The <a href="http://www.enaat.org/news/EUECSaudi.shtml">statement</a> from ENAAT read, “In this context and in light of the overwhelming evidence of the extent of international humanitarian and human rights law violations, it is clear that EU Member States should not be supplying any controlled items that might be used in the Yemen conflict.”</p> <p>The vote will not be legally binding, but will be very embarrassing for Saudi Arabia, and governments continuing to supply military equipment.</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programme/war-profiteers" hreflang="en">War Profiteers</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/465" hreflang="en">Front Page</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/149" hreflang="en">Yemen</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/121" hreflang="en">Saudi Arabia</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/63" hreflang="en">arms trade</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Institutions</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/48" hreflang="en">European Union (EU)</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=26128&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="LEpHqggTCK3OoAHuU_xZ2dUbqWF2jyM4_Wru9UgGUFA"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Thu, 25 Feb 2016 12:38:38 +0000 HBrock 26128 at https://wri-irg.org Mercenaries unleashed: private military and security companies https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2016/mercenaries-unleashed-private-military-and-security-companies <div data-history-node-id="26091" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 17 Feb 2016</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>The rise in mercenaries fighting on the front line in conflict zones in Africa and the Middle East is a frightening return of the ‘Dogs of War’, according to a new report published by War on Want.</p> <figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="94e0041a-89eb-4250-b9db-5a826f206838" data-langcode="en"> <img class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/mercenaries%20cover.home.jpg?itok=t72vg8H_" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/mercenaries%20cover.home.jpg?itok=t72vg8H_ 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Mercenaries unleashed</figcaption> </figure> <p>The Nigerian government has secured the services of South African mercenary troops from the apartheid era to fight the militant Islamist group Boko Haram in the north of the country, and Colombian mercenaries are fighting alongside Saudi forces in Yemen. </p><p>The report, <em><a href="http://www.waronwant.org/resources/mercenaries-unleashed-brave-new-world-private-military-and-security-companies#overlay-context=media/new-report-guns-hire-return-%25E2%2580%2598dogs-war%25E2%2580%2599">Mercenaries Unleashed: The brave new world of private military and security companies</a>,</em> reveals how this vast private industry, now worth hundreds of billions of dollars, is dominated by UK companies reaping enormous profits from exploiting war, instability and conflict around the world. Private military and security companies (PMSCs) burst onto the scene 15 years ago, following the declaration of a ‘war on terror’ and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. At the height of the occupation of Iraq, around 60 such companies were operating.</p> <p>John Hilary, Executive Director at War on Want, said: “Private military contractors ran amok in Iraq and Afghanistan, leaving a trail of human rights abuses in their wake. Now we are seeing the alarming rise of mercenaries fighting on the front line in conflict zones across the world: it is the return of the ‘Dogs of War’.</p> <p>“For too long this murky world of guns for hire has been allowed to grow unchecked. In letting the industry regulate itself, the government has failed: only binding regulation will do. The time has come to ban these companies from operating in conflict zones and end the privatisation of war." </p> <p>It is not just on land that PMSCs are rife. The use of private armies in the maritime industry is booming, and British companies are again at the forefront, providing services to oil corporations seeking to secure assets along major sea lanes.</p> <p>The report explains how PMSCs are increasingly exploiting a legal loophole when it comes to use of arms in international waters. Making use of floating armouries (ships harboured at sea and stacked with rifles, ammunition, night vision goggles and other military grade equipment) they are able to operate freely without fear of legal repercussions.</p> <p>There are 20 such armouries currently on the Indian Ocean. The UK Department of Business, Innovation and Skills has issued 50 licences for floating armouries operating in Indian Ocean &amp; Gulf of Aden. </p> <p>The full report can be found online here: <a href="http://www.waronwant.org/resources/mercenaries-unleashed-brave-new-world-private-military-and-security-companies#overlay-context=media/new-report-guns-hire-return-%25E2%2580%2598dogs-war%25E2%2580%2599">http://www.waronwant.org/resources/mercenaries-unleashed-brave-new-world-private-military-and-security-companies#overlay-context=media/new-report-guns-hire-return-%25E2%2580%2598dogs-war%25E2%2580%2599</a></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programme/war-profiteers" hreflang="en">War Profiteers</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/92" hreflang="en">United Kingdom</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/65" hreflang="en">Mercenaries</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/63" hreflang="en">arms trade</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Companies</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/449" hreflang="en">G4S plc</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=26091&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="LWrUaAemikgisZSAnvkV3KcTPdQQOPXLtRwQOuVzrIU"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Wed, 17 Feb 2016 15:32:13 +0000 Andrew 26091 at https://wri-irg.org Amnesty International: Taking Stock: the arming of Islamic State https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2015/amnesty-international-taking-stock-arming-islamic-state <div data-history-node-id="25313" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 10 Dec 2015</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><em>Amnesty International press release, sourced from <a href="http://www.amnesty.org.uk/press-releases/iraq-how-islamic-state-got-its-weapons">here</a></em>.</p> <p>Decades of poorly regulated arms flows into Iraq as well lax controls on the ground have provided the armed group calling itself Islamic State (IS) with a large and lethal arsenal that is being used to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity on a massive scale in Iraq and Syria, Amnesty International has said in a new report.  </p> <p>Drawing on expert analysis of thousands of verified videos and images the 44-page <a href="https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde14/2812/2015/en/">report</a>, <em>Taking Stock: The arming of Islamic State</em>, catalogues how IS fighters are using arms, mainly looted from Iraqi military stocks, which were manufactured, designed and supplied by more than two dozen countries, including the UK, Russia, China, the USA, Germany and France.</p> <p>After taking control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, in June 2014, IS fighters acquired a windfall of internationally manufactured arms from Iraqi stockpiles. They included US-manufactured weapons and military vehicles, which they used to take control of other parts of the country, with devastating consequences for the civilian population in those areas.</p> <p>The vast array of weapon types captured and illicitly acquired have enabled IS to carry out a horrific campaign of abuse. Summary killings, rape, torture, abduction and hostage-taking – often carried out at gunpoint – have forced hundreds of thousands to flee.</p> <p>Oliver Sprague, Amnesty UK’s Arms Programme Director, said:</p> <blockquote><p>“Decades of free-flowing arms into Iraq meant that when IS took control of these areas, they were like children in a sweetshop.</p> <p>“The fact that countries including the UK have ended up inadvertently arming IS, should give us pause over current weapons deals.</p> <p>“The UK was one of the key supporters of a global Arms Trade Treaty, intended to prevent the proliferation of arms and their use in horrific abuses like IS are committing.</p> <p>“Risks need to be far more carefully calculated, and we shouldn’t wait for this worse-case-scenario to happen before acting to prevent sales of arms which could fuel atrocities.”</p> </blockquote> <h3>Irresponsible arms transfers</h3> <p></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div alt="Improvised mortar rounds manufactured by IS forces and captured by Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units during the siege of Kobane (September 2014 - January 2015). © Conflict Armament Research" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_half" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="56bf95ac-21e9-46e1-a80d-0e21ba8ed143" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="Improvised mortar rounds manufactured by IS forces and captured by Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units during the siege of Kobane (September 2014 - January 2015). © Conflict Armament Research" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/221056_isis_seized_weapons_.home.jpg?itok=Flj1qRc3" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/large/public/images/221056_isis_seized_weapons_.home.jpg?itok=Flj1qRc3 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Improvised mortar rounds manufactured by IS forces and captured by Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units during the siege of Kobane (September 2014 - January 2015). © Conflict Armament Research</figcaption> </figure> The range and scope of IS’s arsenal reflects decades of irresponsible arms transfers to Iraq. This has been compounded by multiple failures to manage arms imports and to put in place oversight mechanisms during the US-led occupation after 2003. Likewise, lax controls over military stockpiles and endemic corruption by successive Iraqi governments have added to the problem. <p>Amnesty’s report documents IS use of arms and ammunition from at least 25 different countries, though a large proportion were originally sourced by the Iraqi military from the USA, Russia and former Soviet bloc states. These arms flows were funded variously by oil barter arrangements, Pentagon contracts and NATO donations. The bulk have been seized from, or leaked out of, Iraqi military stocks.</p> <p>Among the advanced weaponry in the IS arsenal are man-portable air defence systems, guided anti-tank missiles and armoured fighting vehicles, as well as assault rifles like the Russian AK series and the US M16 and Bushmaster.</p> <p>Most of the conventional weapons being used by IS fighters date from the 1970s to the 1990s, including pistols, handguns and other small arms, machine guns, anti-tank weapons, mortars and artillery. Soviet Union-era Kalashnikov-style rifles are commonplace, mainly from Russian and Chinese manufacturers.</p> <p>IS fighters and other armed groups have also resorted to forging their own improvised weaponry in crude workshops. Examples include mortars and rockets, improvised hand grenades, explosive devices (IEDs) including car bombs and booby-traps, and even repurposed cluster munitions, an internationally banned weapon. In some instances IEDs constitute landmines prohibited by the global Mine Ban Treaty.</p> <h3>Supply chains</h3> <p><em>Taking Stock</em> covers Iraq’s lengthy history of arms proliferation and the complex supply chains that most likely brought some of the more recent weapons into IS hands.</p> <p>The Iraqi army’s stockpile swelled in the late 1970s and early 1980s, especially around the Iran-Iraq war. This was a seminal moment in the development of the modern global arms market, when at least 34 different countries supplied Iraq with weapons – 28 of those same states were also simultaneously supplying arms to Iran. Meanwhile Iraq’s then-President Saddam Hussein oversaw the development of a robust national arms industry producing small arms, mortar and artillery shells.</p> <p>After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, a UN arms embargo decreased imports until 2003. However, during and after the US-led invasion, Iraq was again flooded with more weapon imports. Many of these were never adequately secured and audited by the US-led coalition forces and the reconstituted Iraqi armed forces. Hundreds of thousands of those weapons went missing and are still unaccounted for.  </p> <p>More recent efforts to rebuild and re-equip the Iraqi army and associated forces have once again resulted in a massive arms flow into Iraq. Between 2011 and 2013, the USA signed billions of dollars’ worth of contracts for 140 M1A1 Abrams tanks, F16 fighter aircraft, 681 Stinger shoulder held units, Hawk anti-aircraft batteries, and other equipment. By 2014, the USA had delivered more than US$500 million worth of small arms and ammunition to the Iraqi government.</p> <p>Endemic corruption in the Iraqi military, as well as weak controls in place on military stockpiles and tracking weapons, meant there was an ongoing high risk of such weapons being diverted to armed groups including IS.</p> <h3>Preventing arms proliferation</h3> <p>States can learn from the successive failures of the past and take urgent steps to curb future arms proliferation in Iraq, Syria and other unstable countries and regions.</p> <p>Amnesty is calling on all states to adopt a complete embargo on Syrian government forces, as well as those armed opposition groups implicated in committing war crimes, crimes against humanity and other serious human rights abuses.</p> <p>They must also adopt a “presumption of denial” rule on arms exports to Iraq, meaning that transfers could only be carried out after strict risk assessments. Military or police units in Iraq which are singled out for exceptions must first demonstrate that they stringently and consistently respect international human rights and humanitarian law and that they have the necessary control mechanisms in place to ensure weapons will not be diverted to armed groups.</p> <p>Also, any state considering potential arms transfers to armed forces in Iraq must first invest heavily in pre- and post-delivery controls, training and monitoring that meet international standards for the management and use of such arms.</p> <p>All states that have not yet done so should accede to or ratify the global <a href="http://www.un.org/disarmament/ATT/">Arms Trade Treaty</a> immediately. One of the treaty’s objectives is “to prevent and eradicate the illicit trade in conventional arms and prevent their diversion”. The treaty also contains provisions which aim to stop arms transfers where there is an overriding risk they could be used for serious international human rights or humanitarian law violations.</p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/programme/war-profiteers" hreflang="en">War Profiteers</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Countries</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/158" hreflang="en">Syria</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/63" hreflang="en">arms trade</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=25313&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="h9wMa2tndcc2HIpBQD4I98gQxJF18z8tR11eTzMTlPE"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Thu, 10 Dec 2015 12:17:12 +0000 Andrew 25313 at https://wri-irg.org Write to a prisoner for peace on 1st December https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2015/write-prisoner-peace-1st-december <div data-history-node-id="25232" class="node node--type-story node--view-mode-rss ds-1col clearfix"> <time > 27 Nov 2015</time> <div class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p lang="zxx" xml:lang="zxx" xml:lang="zxx"></p><figure role="group" class="embedded-entity align-left"> <div alt="Postcards sent from WRI affiliate World Without War" data-embed-button="image_embed" data-entity-embed-display="image:responsive_image" data-entity-embed-display-settings="body_inline_1_3" data-entity-type="file" data-entity-uuid="4a6a8f04-7117-4a92-8d79-d3711a822a83" data-langcode="en" title=""> <img alt="Postcards sent from WRI affiliate World Without War" class="img-responsive" src="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/medium/public/images/pfp%20korea.home.jpg?itok=p-ObUWN6" srcset="/sites/default/files/public_files/styles/max_325x325/public/images/pfp%20korea.home.jpg?itok=V1dj5Kd3 1x" typeof="foaf:Image" /> </div> <figcaption>Postcards sent from WRI affiliate World Without War</figcaption> </figure> Each year on 1st December War Resisters' International and its members mark <a href="/campaigns/prisoners_for_peace">Prisoners for Peace Day</a>, when we publicise the names and stories of those imprisoned for actions for peace. Many are conscientious objectors, in gaol for refusing to join the military. Others have taken nonviolent actions to disrupt preparation for war. This day is a chance for you to demonstrate your support for them. We invite you to put aside some time on December 1st, or a day close to it, to send cards that express your solidarity. You can find the names and address here: <a href="/inprison">/inprison</a> <p lang="zxx" xml:lang="zxx" xml:lang="zxx"><a href="/pfp-15">Read more...</a></p> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Programmes &amp; Projects</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/1" hreflang="en">Right to Refuse to Kill</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/2" hreflang="en">Prisoners for Peace</a></span> </div> <div class="field--label tags--label field-label-above">Theme</div> <div class="wri-main--tags"> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/68" hreflang="en">WRI activists</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/58" hreflang="en">total objection</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/59" hreflang="en">Tax resistance</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/64" hreflang="en">International Law</a></span> <span class="rel-tag" > <a href="/en/taxonomy/term/57" hreflang="en">Conscientious objection</a></span> </div> <section class="comments"> <h2>Add new comment</h2> <drupal-render-placeholder callback="comment.lazy_builders:renderForm" arguments="0=node&amp;1=25232&amp;2=comment&amp;3=comment" token="dw7VckcQoTNSGnHG3kn1kCfVPWnjHgZqSjvTuhlnB0c"></drupal-render-placeholder> </section> </div> Fri, 27 Nov 2015 12:49:06 +0000 HBrock 25232 at https://wri-irg.org