Arms Export Policy Not Properly Enforced

4 July 2007

Arms Export Policy Not Properly Enforced

SP Member of Parliament Krista van Velzen has discovered that on 20 February 2006 a cargo of illegal tear gas grenades passed through Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport on their way to Uganda. This is in conflict with the Netherlands’ policy on arms exports and for this reason Van Velzen will be demanding an explanation from the ministers responsible.

Krista van VelzenThis is not the first time that illegal weapons have been detected passing through the territory of the Netherlands. In 2003 tank parts were shipped to Eritrea. On this occasion the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is blaming “a misunderstanding in the communication,” according to today’s Metro newspaper. Van Velzen intends to ask Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen (Christian Democrats) and Secretary of State for Economic Affairs Frank Heemskerk (Labour) for further information regarding the incident.

The tear gas grenades were from an Israeli arms supplier. The country receiving them, Uganda, has been found guilty of human rights abuses, including torture and extra-judicial executions.

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