Amnesty decries Spanish arms sales to Egypt regime

Spanish Defence Minister Pedro Morenés (left) in Cairo with Egypt's Abdelfatah al Sisi, May 2015. Photo: El Mundo
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• Spain joins 11 other EU countries violating ban on arms sales to Al Sisi gov’t
• Weapons, kit sold to Egypt used in ‘massive’ repression of opponents, says AI

Global human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) has denounced the continued sale of armaments by Spain and 11 other EU member states to the regime of Egyptian President Abdelfatah al Sisi, in violation of a 2013 embargo on arms sales to the Egyptian regime mandated by the 28-member European Union (EU).

According to AI, spain joins EU-member states Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia, Poland, Rumania and the United Kingdom in violating the EU mandate suspending the sale or transfer of arms and equipment to Egypt of the type currently being used in the internal repression on a “massive scale” of political opponents of the Egyptian government headed by Al Sisi.

The United States is a principal supplier of armaments to the Al Sisi government, according to Amnesty, but in 2014 alone European countries authorized 290 licenses for the transfer to Egypt of 6 billion euros worth of military and police equipment. Since 2013, AI says the arms and equipment sold to Egypt have been used by that country’s military and police forces in the widespread commission of forced disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention of opponents of the Al Sisi regime.

► Read More in Spanish at El Mundo and La Marea …

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