Whole text of the call
Foreign minister of the Czech Republic
Loretánské nám. 101/5
118 00 Praha 1 – Hradčany
Dear Mr. Minister,
I would like to declare my concern about the Czech Republic being a significant exporter of military equipment to countries with repressive regimes that are violating human rights and lack standard control over the the movement of military equipment. Growth of the export to places, where the use of this equipment is unknown, has almost tripled in the last few years.
Only in 2015 the Czech Republic exported military equipment worth 15 billion CZK and almost half of this equipment was sent to regimes where risks of abuse of military materials are very high.
We are asking you: Do we know who we are sending military equipment to?
Your department plays a key and non-fungible role in evaluation of human rights risks within the license procedures, and your positive standpoint is a necessary condition for granting an export license.
For these reasons, dear Mr. minister, we would like to call for your consistent and responsible evaluation of human rights risks during military equipment exports. We believe, the Czech diplomacy should not approve cases when the military material trade is in contradiction with human rights obligations and goals of the Czech Republic, and is instrumental in political or economical interests.
Yours faithfully, ...
WEAPONS EXPORTS FROM THE CZECH REPUBLIC INCREASE AT THE EXPENSE OF HUMAN RIGHTS PROTECTION
Amnesty International (AI) has been warning the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to give attention to serious discrepancies between the declared support of democracy and human rights on the one hand, and the promotion of military equipment exports to risk countries on the other.
AI argues that in countries where there is a real risk of misuse of weapons for the purpose of suppressing human rights, weapon exports should not be permitted. This should apply not only with regard to the applicable criteria for the granting of licenses for weapon exports, but also with regard to the policy of promoting democracy in the transformation and development cooperation, which prioritizes the protection of human rights, local development and democratic values.
COUNTRIES WHERE THE CZECH REPUBLIC EXPORTED WEAPONS IN 2013
In 2015 the Czech Republic exported military equipment to 34 countries that severely violate human rights while lacking control standards for movement of weapons. These are often repressive regimes where the state does not have democratic control of the armed forces, lacks an independent judiciary system as well as police forces and elites who are loyal to their citizens. In total, these exports of 7,37 billion CZK represent 49,3% of total exports from the Czech Republic.
The supporting wall of the Letná park is decorated with paintings of the famous Prague towers: the Old Town tower, the Žižkov TV Tower, the Powder Tower, the Šítkov water-tower and the towers of the Týn church. These dominants of a city, often called „the city of a hundred towers“, is easily recognised not only by people living in Prague, but also visitors. The black and white depictions have a disturbing feel. Instead of touristic motives there are scenes from the city ruined by war.
The exhibition of Ota Hudec called „Prague the day after bombing“ is bringing attention to the mass export of military equipment from the Czech Republic to unstable and nondemocratic regimes. The exhibition was organised in collaboration with Amnesty International CZ, who has been warning about the uncontrolled export of military equipment.