US Arms and Military Training Promote Human Rights Abuses in Other Countries

August 2nd, 2003 - by admin

by Amnesty International –

US Supplies Have Been Linked to Human Rights Violations
Amnesty’s report documents the supply of weapons, small arms, security equipment, and military training by the USA to governments and armed groups that have committed torture, political killings, “disappearances,” and other human rights abuses in countries around the world.

Weapons and Security Equipment
USA-supplied attack helicopters, armored personnel carriers, trucks, and jet fighters have been used in Turkish villages where human rights violations occurred.

The USA has exported thousands of stun guns to countries where Amnesty International has documented electro-shock torture, including Argentina, Indonesia, Mexico, and Saudi Arabia.

In 1997, a US-supplied remote control electro-shock belt was being tested in a maximum security prison in South Africa, a country with a persistent pattern of torture and ill-treatment by members of its security forces.

Small Arms and Chemical Weapons
The USA has granted export licenses for rifles, small arms, pistols, revolvers, ammunition, guns, grenades, and riot control chemical weapons to countries with records of persistent human rights abuse. These countries include: Bahrain, Bolivia, Colombia, Egypt, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.

Military Training
The School of the Americas in Fort Benning, Georgia, is but one of more than 150 centers in the USA and abroad where foreign military and police officers are trained. Many of the trainees have subsequently been implicated in gross human rights violations.


As part of its campaign for human rights in the United States, Amnesty Recommends (in part) that the USA:

o Establish Independent Monitoring Bodies to Investigate Allegations of Police Brutality and Abuse in Jails and Prisons

o Ban the Use of Remote Control Electro-shock Stun Belts, Hog-tying, and Other Dangerous Restraint Procedures

o Ban the Routine Use of Restraints on Pregnant Women Prisoners and All Restraints During Labor

o Restrict and Regulate the Interactions of Male Staff with Female Inmates to Prevent Rape and Sexual Abuse in Jails and Prisons

o Ratify, Without Reservation, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (of all the countries in the world, only the United States and Somalia have not ratified this Convention)

o Ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

o Ensure that Asylum-seekers are Detained Only as a Last Resort, and Never in Jails and Never with Criminal Defendants

o Ban the Death Penalty for Juvenile Offenders as a First Step Toward Total Abolition

o Adopt and Rigorously Enforce a Binding Code of Conduct, Based on Human Rights, Covering all Transfers of Military, Security and Police Equipment, Services and Expertise

Excerpted from “Rights for All,” Amnesty International’s Report on Human Rights Violations Inside the US.

Amnesty International USA, National Office, 322 Eighth Avenue, New York, NY 10001, (212) 807-8400, fax: (212) 627-1451.