'Ban UK mercenaries' call after new shootings

19 October 2007 - 5:54pm
Press release

The call followed reports this afternoon that British security company Erinys International is the employer of the guards who opened fire on a taxi near Kirkuk in Iraq yesterday, wounding three civilians, including two women.

Erinys has encountered previous criticism for alleged prisoner abuse by its employees and for hiring former apartheid-era paramilitary police and mercenaries from South Africa. Erinys is a founder member of the British Association of Private Security Companies (BAPSC), the trade association which has been involved in regulation talks with the UK government, and Erinys representatives have met with officials from the Foreign Office's Iraq directorate.

These latest shootings come in the wake of the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians shot by guards from US private military company Blackwater, and of two Iraqis killed last week by guards from Unity Resources Group, a security firm run by former Australian army personnel.

Ruth Tanner, Senior Campaigns Officer at War on Want, said: "These latest shootings underline the need for the British government to stop UK mercenaries operating in war zones. There have been hundreds of human rights violations by mercenary troops, yet not a single prosecution has been brought against them. Gordon Brown must act now to bring these companies within the law."

The British government has come under increased pressure to introduce legislation on private military companies operating overseas, including a ban on their use in combat. The Labour government has refused to introduce any form of regulation, despite recognising the problem in its 2002 Green Paper on the industry. The United Nations working group on mercenaries has this month renewed its call for the UK government to introduce legislation to regulate the private military sector and to guard against the 'inherent dangers' of privatising the use of violence in war zones.


CONTACT: War on Want media officer Paul Collins +44 (0)20 7549 0584 or +44 (0)7983 550728.

NOTE TO EDITORS War on Want's report on the private military and security industry, Corporate Mercenaries, can be downloaded here - along with video footage of mercenaries fighting in Iraq.

 

 

 

]]>

Cultural Resistance

Culture can speak truth to power, and create and maintain hope where previously it had been extinguished.

We believe that culture has a crucial role to play in the struggle for a better, socially just world

Latest news

Comment: Supreme Court must find for worker's rights in gig economy case

20 February 2018 - 11:30am

Speaking ahead of the Supreme Court hearing on the ‘Pimlico Plumbers’ Gig Economy Case, Owen Espley Labour Rights campaigner at War on Want said:

“The supreme court case must confirm what many courts have already decided, that claiming these workers were self-employed is a ploy to dodge taxes and deny worker’s rights, such as holiday and sick pay.

Read more

War on Want's commitment to safeguarding and code of conduct

16 February 2018 - 10:30am

The recent reports regarding the conduct of staff working for international humanitarian and development charities focussing on Oxfam, is a crucial reminder of the importance that charities should place on ensuring effective policies and practices in safeguarding, including commitments to recognise and uphold the dignity of local communities that the sector works with.

Read more

Join the conversation

Tomorrow night – Remi Kanazi LIVE at the Palestine Museum & Cultural centre, #Bristol: https://t.co/vGZgW8R9U9 Ded… https://t.co/57lAhjkMhE 1 hour 26 min ago
What is #apartheid, and how does that word describe #Israel’s regime of control over Palestinians? Read our piece i… https://t.co/XmzbOc1LzV 3 hours 25 min ago
Solidarity to the @RMTUnion – We must #StandWithMigrantWorkers and #EndOutsourcing https://t.co/ewKeaz7CgC 4 hours 54 min ago