Amnesty International USA Welcomes The “Enhancing Human Rights Protections in Arms Sales Act of 2019
Amnesty International USA welcomes the introduction of the “Enhancing Human Rights Protections in Arms Sales Act of 2019, S. 854 in the Senate. This bill is a strong repudiation of the Trump administration’s irresponsible approach to the oversight and regulation of US arms exports, which has recently led to concerns about the diversion of weapons sold to UAE and US complicity in war crimes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. Concerns over the use of US made weapons in the commission of human rights abuses have also been raised in the context of extrajudicial executions in the Philippines by the government of Roberto Duterte and the shooting of non-violent protestors in Egypt by government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Honduras by the security forces of President Juan Orlando Hernández.
At the same time the Trump administration is moving forward with transferring oversight of some US firearms exports from the State Department to the Department of Commerce, S. 854 reaffirms the importance of ensuring that robust human rights criteria are enforced when the executive branch decides to sell U.S. made weapons and is a critical start to taking all possible steps to ensure that those weapons are not at risk of being used in the commission of human rights abuses.