NGOs urge arms companies to boycott Bahrain defence conference over human rights concerns
In October 2017, rights groups called on AeroVironment, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter, and Lockheed Martin to withdraw their participation from the Bahrain International Defence Exhibition and Conference (BIDEC). Military equipment sold to Bahrain at BIDEC could allegedly be used to commit further atrocities against civilians in Yemen and suppress basic human rights in Bahrain.
The Bahrain Defence Forces are part of the UN-blacklisted coalition fighting in Yemen, which is allegedly responsible for over 10,000 civilian casualties. A report by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has also expressed concerns regarding Bahrain’s “ongoing trend of major harassment and intimidation against human rights defenders.”
Business & Human Rights Resource Centre invited AeroVironment, BAE Systems, Bell Helicopter, and Lockheed Martin to respond to the allegations. The companies did not respond.