PRESS RELEASE CAMPAGNE TEGEN WAPENHANDEL
Amsterdam, 18 Feb 2011 – Video footage from Bahrain, showing police and security forces brutality against demonstrations for democracy, clearly show armoured vehicles of the type sold to the Gulf state by the Netherlands in the mid-90’s.
Between 1994-1997 the Netherlands exported 35 M-113 and 25 YPR armoured vehicles, partly armed with 25 mm guns, as well as 13 M-110 howitzers and 5 M-578/577 armoured vehicles. The Dutch government at that time considered these exports as ‘fully acceptable’. In 2003 tank engines and military trucks were supplied as well. Over the last twenty years the Netherlands sold over 30 million euro of military equipment to Bahrain, mostly surplus equipment from the Dutch armed forces.
The Netherlands has sold weapons to several dictatorships in the Middle East, including Egypt, Tunesia, Morocco, Jordan and Bahrain. The Campagne tegen Wapenhandel calls for the government to take human rights more seriously when considering arms export licence applications. No licences should be granted for arms exports to undemocratic governments or countries where civil rights are lacking.