Amnesty International – 2012-03-20 14:25:10
(March 17, 2012) — Right now, a Dutch ship is transporting U.S. weapons and explosives to an unknown destination. Documents show its cargo includes U.S. cartridges for weapons, fuses, detonators and other ammunition.
Up until March 14, the destination was listed as Port Said, Egypt â€“ ostensibly to be delivered to the Egyptian military government. This is shocking given the Egyptian governmentâ€™s brutal repression of peaceful protesters, including killing more than 100 protesters in the last five months.
Now the U.S. Navy says the ship full of weapons is not docking in Egypt, but it will not say where the ship is headed.
This â€œmystery shipâ€ could be carrying weapons anywhere. Take action to keep these weapons out of the hands of governments who will use them against their own people.
We need assurance from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that the ship of weapons is not going to Egypt or to any other country with a track record of serious human rights violations.
In Egypt, security forces have sexually assaulted women, fired live ammunition at protesters without warning, and fired tear gas during protests in Cairo â€“ using American tear gas canisters.
Promises of reform ring hollow and the U.S. government is â€“ unbelievably â€“ on the verge of allowing Egyptian security forces to buy more weapons using money they receive from the U.S.
What kind of message is the U.S. sending to the Egyptian people – to the world – by enabling their attackers to purchase more weapons? Answer: the wrong one.
Urge Secretary of State Clinton to clarify who is the final recipient of this latest cargo shipment, to confirm that no U.S. weapons or explosives will go to any country where they are likely to be used to commit serious human rights violations, and to stop funding Egypt’s weapons purchases with U.S. military aid. It is irresponsible to put more weapons in the hands of those who violate human rights.
Advocacy Director, Middle East & North Africa
Amnesty International USA