[The following press release was issued by Bahrain Watch on 17 March 2014]
Delegation of Activists Visit Korea for Arms Control Campaign
Bahrain Watch to Participate in Press Conference at South Korean National Assembly
A Bahrain Watch delegation has arrived in Seoul, South Korea to bolster a legislative effort for new arms export controls, at the invitation of local NGOs, including Amnesty International Korea.
This week, Korean lawmakers will introduce a new bill to clamp down on arms exports to human rights violators. The push follows last year’s Bahrain Watch-led #StopTheShipment campaign, which prevented a Korean company from exporting more than 3 million tear gas canisters to Bahrain’s Interior Ministry. Korean arms dealers previously supplied 1.5 million tear gas canisters to Bahrain between 2011 and 2013, and 435,050 to Turkey in 2013. Both governments have employed the tear gas as a lethal weapon, resulting in significant loss of life. Since 2011, at least 39 deaths in Bahrain have been linked to misuse of tear gas, according to data compiled by Physicians for Human Rights.
The Bahrain Watch delegation, consisting of Bill Marczak, Ala’a Shehabi, and Nazgul Kafai will meet with local NGOs, activists, and journalists during their visit, as well as government officials, including Korean police and DAPA, the Korean agency that licenses arms exports.
The Bahrain Government’s use of tear gas is ongoing, with reports today that Jawad al-Hawi. a man from Sitra, died after tear gas asphyxiation last night. Abdulaziz al-Abbar continues to lie in the ICU after he was apparently hit with a tear gas canister last month. The Bahraini government has not investigated these cases.
Program of visit
On Wednesday 19th March 2014 at 11AM KST, the Bahrain Watch delegation will participate in a press conference about the new legislation at the National Assembly Building in the Press Conference room. The Bahrain Watch delegation will present at a parliamentary debate on the proposed legislation at 1:30-3:30PM KST on the same day, featuring South Korean MPs Jang Hana and Kim Hyun.
On Thursday 20th March 2014 at 7PM-8PM a public event will be held, entitled “Tear Gas in Bahrain and the Arab Spring.” For more information on this event, click here.
For further details on the programme of events, contact Hanui Choi at Amnesty International Korea email@example.com