Citizen weapons inspectors visit Manchester factory

Target Brimar campaign press release
Monday 5th October 08:00
- for immediate release

Citizen Weapons Inspectors visit Manchester Factory

At just before 8 o'clock this morning, several citizen weapons inspectors from the Target Brimar campaign visited the Chadderton premises of military component manufacturer Brimar.[1] They were seeking information on possible connections between Brimar's products and human rights abuses committed in Gaza and the West Bank, Iraq, and Afghanistan.[2]

Target Brimar campaigners, in a research dossier released today,[3] have raised concerns that the company's products may have been used in the commission of human rights abuses including attacks on civilians during the 'Operation Cast Lead' invasion of Gaza by the Israeli Defence Forces in December 2008/January 2009. Brimar directors admitted in 2006, during the war in Lebanon, that the company supplied components used in Apache attack helicopters sold to the Israeli military.

There is also evidence that products developed during a research collaboration between Brimar and the US Marine Corps were deployed with Marine tank battalions in Iraq in 2004-5, including with forces directly involved in the Second Battle of Fallujah in November 2004. And there is concern that Brimar products may be incorporated into helicopters currently being used to fire thermobaric missiles in Afghanistan.

The Target Brimar campaign is calling on the company, which is owned by private investors and has a significant financial relationship with the Bank of Scotland/Lloyds Banking Group and therefore with the British taxpayer, to return to its historically peaceful manufacture of specialist screens and viewing equipment, and on the British government to reviews its arms export policy and to cease its immoral and economically distorted subsidising of the arms industry.

The Target Brimar campaign is calling for a public demonstration on 17th October 2009 calling on Brimar to rethink its military manufacture operations. Full details are available on http://www.targetbrimar.org.uk

Notes for editors

1. the weapons inspectors are, at the time of writing, still at Brimar. They can be contacted directly for interview on 07866 001207. Video footage and stills images will be made available as soon as possible via press@targetbrimar.org.uk and http://www.targetbrimar.org.uk. General questions regarding the campaign and research should be made to 07506 551323 or to press@targetbrimar.org.uk.

2. the inspectors will be directing questions to Brimar regarding its awareness of documented human rights abuses which are likely to have involved the use of its products, and the comprehensiveness of its knowledge of the final destinations of its products once sold.

3. copies of the dossier can be downloaded at: http://www.targetbrimar.org.uk/downloads/target_brimar_dossier_october_2...