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Dublin: 10°C Monday 8 August 2022

"Stop arms shipments to Egypt," says Amnesty

The organisation has said that the arms are being used to kill protesters, so deliveries

Image: AP Photo/Coralie Carlson

GOVERNMENTS ARE BEING encouraged by Amnesty International to stop sending weapons to Egypt due to the “lethal force” being used during protests.

It has called on all governments to suspend the transfer of weapons of the type used by Egypt’s security forces in violent dispersals and unwarranted lethal force against sit-ins and other protests.


It has released a list of recent arms shipments to Egypt, which shows that the Czech Republic sent 15,062 pistols to Egypt in May of this year, which it says appears to be part of a contract for 50,000 pistols from the Czech company CZ to the Egyptian police.

The USA reported exports of 1,524 military rifles and machine guns to Egypt between January 2011 and June 2013, as well as 2,050 pump action shotguns between 2011 – 2012.

Other countries that sent arms included Germany, Spain, South Korea, Cyprus, China, Switzerland, Italy, and Turkey.

Armoured vehicles and other military equipment was also sent by France (armoured vehicles sent to the security forces), Netherlands and the USA.

Spain authorised the sale of €78.5million of military aircraft, Germany gave permits for €57.3m of military ground vehicles, and in 2011, the US Government authorised more than US $100m worth of arms sales to Egypt.

EU meeting

Today, EU foreign ministers have been meeting on the conflict in Egypt. Amnesty has called on them to implement the EU’s Common Position on arms exports, as well as the human rights provisions of the Arms Trade Treaty.

Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, said: “Weapons and equipment supplied to Egypt by a handful of countries are being used to kill protesters.

Deliveries must be frozen until full, prompt and impartial investigations into the recent violence – and similar incidents over the past several years – have been carried out and their findings made public. How can anyone continue to deliver weapons to Egypt knowing the track record of their security forces?

Amnesty said that guns, tear gas, armoured vehicles and bulldozers were used by the Egyptian security forces, including riot police, to clear encampments set up by supporters of Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Morsi in Cairo.

The death toll has risen to more than 900 protesters and bystanders.

Read: Egypt court orders release of Mubarak>

Read: Tánaiste and EU ministers to begin Egypt talks>

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