NGOs sue Flemish government over Turkey arms exports

NGOs sue Flemish government over Turkey arms exports
Photo from Vredesactie.

On Wednesday, a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will present arguments to a Belgian civil court calling for an end to the export of military components to the Turkish air force.

“The Flemish government is acting in violation of the Flemish arms trade decree by allowing transfers of military technology to Turkey, despite evidence that this violates international arms embargoes,” the organisations said in a statement.

“We hope that the court will force the Flemish government to stop these exports.”

The organisations Vredesactie and CNAPD, supported by Amnesty International Belgium, sued the Flemish government earlier this year for its involvement in the production of the Turkish A400M military transport planes which they say incite conflicts across the region and violate international arms embargoes.

Today their case will be heard in the Belgian Tribunal of First Instance.

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“The Flemish government chooses to export weapons without knowing the actual end-user, which fuels conflicts and jeopardizes the right to life,” the organisations say.

One of those exporters is SABCA (Sociétés Anonyme Belge de Constructions Aéronautiques) in Brussels, where protestors demonstrated this summer.

Activists have gathered for Wednesday’s court session and unfurled a banner at the Palace of Justice in Brussels, demanding an end to the export of arms to conflict zones and stricter controls on the final use of Flemish arms exports.

A ruling is expected in early 2022.

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