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Int’l NGOs calls on EU Parliament to stop surveillance equipment going to UAE

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7 months 5 days

Int’l NGOs calls on EU Parliament to stop surveillance equipment going to UAE

A coalition of international NGOs called on European Parliament’s (EP) to vote tomorrow could stop the export of dangerous surveillance equipment to rights-abusing governments including the UAE.

The vote, on European Union’s (EU) export control regime for dual-use items, which have civilian and military uses, is an important step forward to protect journalists, dissidents and human rights defenders all over the world from human rights violations caused by surveillance technologies originating from EU countries, according to the statement released by the coalition.

"These new rules should eventually stop EU produced surveillance equipment from being exported to countries where there is a high risk it would be used to abuse journalists, activists and others who work to defend rights. They have learnt the hard way that they cannot rely upon EU governments to prioritise human rights over economic interests,” said Nele Meyer, Senior Executive Officer at Amnesty International.

BAE Systems, the UK’s largest arms manufacturer, was revealed in 2017 to have been exporting controlled internet surveillance systems capable of carrying out mass surveillance to countries where human rights abuses are common, including the UAE.

If the EP’s changes are agreed with the European Council, such exports would no longer be possible if they are likely to lead to serious human rights violations.

"The EU must take a firm stand in defence of the freedom to inform. Journalists must not be spied on or arrested with the help of these ‘dual use’ technologies, which also have a chilling effect on journalists and their sources, fuelling concern about the security of their communications and therefore discouraging an exchange of information,” said Elodie Vialle, Head of Journalism and Technology desk at Reporters Without Borders (RSF).

Read full statement: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1801/S00110/european-parliament-must-vo...

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