Amnesty: Bulgaria Violates Weapons Embargo

Diplomacy | October 21, 2011, Friday // 10:35|  views

Some of the munitions and weapons, used in Libya's civil war are supplied by Bulgaria, according to Amnesty International. File photo by EPA/BGNES

Bulgaria has been selling weapons to Libya in the last five years in violation of the weapons embargo, according to Amnesty International's Helen Hughes.

Hughes, chief expert on weapons trade and human rights at Amnesty, spoke Friday in an interview for the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR.

The expert said Bulgaria is selling weapons in violation of human rights not only to Libya, but to Egypt and Yemen.

Bulgaria has exported to Egypt weapons valued at EUR 100 000 and munitions in the amount of EUR 11.5 M; to Yemen the value of weapons is much higher – small arms for EUR 13 M, 20-mm caliber guns for EUR 2.5 M and munitions for EUR 47 M, according to Hughes' data.

She says that the data is for a period of 5 years and is based on government reports, stressing that such weapon trade is problematic and irresponsible.

Her words came in the aftermath of the Wednesday publication of the latest Amnesty International reports where Bulgaria is listed among several countries that have supplied large amounts of arms to repressive regimes in the Middle East and North Africa in 2011, which were used against demonstrators.

The report is titled Arms Transfers to The Middle East and North Africa: Lessons for an Effective Arms Trade Treaty and examines arms transfers to Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria and Yemen since 2005.

Tags: weapons, embargo, Helen Hughes, Amnesty International, report, Bulgaria, weapons, Middle East, North Africa, repressive, regimes, protests, Bahrain, Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, United States, Russia


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