Irish MEPs call on EU to investigate if European arms exports were used during Black Lives Matter protest

Irish MEPs call on EU to investigate if European arms exports were used during Black Lives Matter protest
A Black Lives Matter in Cork last weekend was attended by an estimated crowd of 1,500 people. Picture: Andy Gibson

A group of Fine Gael MEPs are calling on the EU's High Representative on Foreign Affairs to investigate if EU arms exports have been used against US civilians.

Mairead McGuinness, Seán Kelly, Frances Fitzgerald, Deirdre Clune and Maria Walsh also asked Josep Borrell to condemn the excessive use of force on US citizens.

The joint letter comes in response to a wave of Black Lives Matter protest worldwide, sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of US police in Minneapolis last month.

In it, the signatories calls on Representative Borrell to suspend any EU arms exports to the US if it were found they were being used against civilians.

Many EU member states, currently export weapons or dual-use items to arm countries like Saudi Arabia who are responsible for widespread human rights abuses.

Ireland has also exported goods used in conflict to Saudi.

The value of Irish exports of military equipment stood at €37.3m in 2018, with almost two-thirds of all military components, software and technology being sold to the US.

The European Parliament is set to debate the ongoing situation in the US next week.

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