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70% oppose weapons sale to Saudi.

BRITS overwhelmingly oppose firms selling arms to countries accused of abusing human rights - especially to Saudi Arabia.

A poll found seven in 10 are against sales to suspect regimes buying weapons in London this week at a huge arms fair.

The survey of more than 2,000 adults by Opinium LLP shows that just 7% back arms sales to regimes thought to violate human rights while 62% oppose arms sales to non-democratic states.

The Campaign Against Arms Trade and other groups have protested at the Defence and Security Equipment International event at the Excel centre in Canning Town, East London. There have been more than 100 arrests outside the expo since it started yesterday. It is due to run for four days.

Of the 68 countries with representatives at DSEI, several have poor rights records.

Activists have called for the end of the arms fair, which officially opened yesterday.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he would try to prevent its return to East London. Andrew Smith of the Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "UK-made weapons have played a central role in the brutal Saudi-led bombardment of Yemen.

"The arms sales being negotiated in London this week could be used in atrocities and abuses for years to come."

But the Government insisted: "We work directly with the DSEI organisers to ensure exhibitors fully comply with UK export control legislation. DSEI serves only the legitimate defence and security industry.

"Hosting the exhibition in London means UK defence companies can discuss their products in a tightly regulated environment."

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PROTESTS Outside the weapons expo in East London yesterday

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:7SAUD
Date:Sep 11, 2019
Words:267
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