Most Scots will be sickened to learn that their government and its agencies are supporting this vile trade with public money.Ross Greer MSP
Ross Greer MSP, External Affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (27 Nov) revealed that Scottish Government agencies have given a total of £518,595 during 2016/17 to companies involved in the arms trade, including those whose equipment has allegedly been used to commit war crimes in Yemen and sold to the Assad regime.
A Freedom of Information response shows that as well as support given to Raytheon, the manufacturer of missile systems for Saudi Arabia’s air force, a firm which sold radio equipment to the Assad regime in the same month sanctions were imposed upon them, and the manufacturer of CS gas used against Arab Spring protestors in Egypt and pro-democracy protestors in Hong Kong.
Beneficiaries of financial support from government agencies Scottish Enterprise and Highlands and Islands Enterprise include:
Raytheon - £91,009. The company makes the missile systems Saudi Arabia is using to commit alleged war crimes in Yemen. Saudi’s actions have led to a famine described as being ‘of Biblical proportions’ and the worst cholera outbreak in history.
An earlier FoI request by Green MSP John Finnie shows that cabinet minister Fergus Ewing met with the company in September 2015.
Raytheon were present at the DSEI (Defence & Security Equipment International) arms fair this September, where oppressive regimes including Turkey, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and Qatar were browsing their products.
Selex - £205,000. In 2012 they were criticised for selling radio hardware equipment to the Assad regime in the same month that the European Union imposed an embargo on the regime. They have also sold drones to Saudi Arabia and their client list features governments with shocking human rights records, including Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Pakistan.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon met Selex in September 2015, while Deputy First Minister John Swinney met them last year.
Chemring - £5,400. CS gas they produced has been used against civilians in the 2011 Egypt Arab Spring protests and in the 2014 Hong Kong democracy protests.
In addition, Makar Technologies received £61,000 from HIE, while Helmet Integrated Systems received £145,344, Penman Engineering £5,625, and Turner Aviation £4,979, all from Scottish Enterprise.
Ross Greer MSP, External Affairs spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, said:
"Innocent people are being killed around the world every day by an arms industry that we should have no part of. Most Scots will be sickened to learn that their government and its agencies are supporting this vile trade with public money.
“The Scottish Government must immediately instruct its agencies to end any support given to companies so complicit in immense human suffering. Children are starving and dying in Yemen; Scottish taxpayers' money should play no more role in that tragedy. There are businesses the length and breadth of Scotland to be proud of and they deserve this support far more.”