Contact l Sitemap

home industries issues reasearch weblog press

Home  » Industries » War & Disaster Profiteering

UK: Land Rovers Deployed Against Civilians

Evidence that military Land Rovers are being used against civilians - despite assurances from the British government that they are not - is revealed in photographs taken in Gaza, Uzbekistan, and Aceh province in Indonesia.

by Richard Norton-TaylorThe Guardian
June 18th, 2005

Evidence that military Land Rovers are being used against civilians - despite assurances from the British government that they are not - is revealed in photographs taken in Gaza, Uzbekistan, and Aceh province in Indonesia.

A white armoured Land Rover was used on June 9 by Israeli security forces stopping a Palestinian (not in the frame) near Neve Dekalim settlement in Gaza.

The government has said it has no evidence that equipment or components licensed for export to Israel have been used against civilians in the occupied territories. It has also said that it has sought and received assurances from the authorities that UK-supplied equipment is not being used against civilians.

But Jack Straw, the foreign secretary, has said that Israel had breached such assurances in the past.

Military Land Rovers were also used by troops in Andijan on the day Uzbek forces massacred up to 500 men, women and children last month.

One possibility is that the vehicles were exported from Turkey where the company Otokar assembles them under licence.

Land Rover said there had been a joint exercise by the Uzbek and Turkish armies and Land Rovers "might have been put at the disposal of the [Uzbek] military".

The pictures also show Land Rovers being used in Aceh by Indonesian special forces, the Kopassus, in July 2003, during an operation against rebels.

A month earlier, the government told MPs that assurances on the British equipment had been changed so they could be deployed for "casualty removal and logistics".

In 2004, the Foreign Office and the US state department criticised Indonesia for human rights abuses.

The chairs of four Commons select committees said that assurances given by Indonesia to Britain were "not worth the paper they are written on".

Yesterday, Brendan Cox of Oxfam said: "With less than a week to go before G8 foreign ministers discuss the arms trade treaty, it's obvious how desperate the situation is.

"Unless we get an international arms trade treaty and quickly, British weapons will continue to get into the wrong hands. The pressure is on the G8 foreign ministers to ensure next week's meeting delivers a timetable towards a treaty. Warm words won't plug a single loophole."





This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond 'fair use', you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.