Companies kicked out of arms fair for illegal items

A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair at the ExCeL centre in east London. Photo / AFP
A protester holds a placard during a demonstration against the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair at the ExCeL centre in east London. Photo / AFP

Two companies from China and France have been ejected from an international arms fair in London for promoting illegal items, organisers say.

DSEI, which claims to be the world's leading defence and security fair, says Tianjin Myway International Trading Co and Magforce International had been found "with literature in breach of British law".

Caroline Lucas, a member of parliament for the Green party, says the firms have been promoting handheld projectile electric shock weapons, weighted leg cuffs and stun batons.

She had earlier raised the issue in the House of Commons, saying the two companies "have been promoting illegal weapons of torture".

"It's frankly disgusting that items like this are being promoted at a supposedly legitimate trade event in Britain," Lucas added.

DSEI later announced the companies' staff had been ejected and their stands removed from the exhibition centre.

"We can confirm that the Tianjin Myway International Trading Co and Magforce International have been ejected from DSEI having been found with literature in breach of British law," organisers said in a statement.

The three-day arms fair was opened on Tuesday by British Defence Secretary Philip Hammond, who highlighted the important ties between the industry and the government.

However, the biennial exhibition is always a target for campaigners who claim some of its 1500 exhibitors manufacture items used in human rights abuses.

- AFP

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