Spectator on facebook

Spectator on facebook


HRW criticises deficient arms trade control

INTERNATIONAL watchdog group Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Slovakia should strengthen its regulations and parliamentary controls over the arms trade, the SITA news wire wrote.

The country must set stricter criteria for issuing licenses for trading arms and more closely monitor the actual destination of cargo containing weapons, the HRW warned.

According to the group, Slovakia has continued to be involved in trading arms with human rights abusers. The report cites specific cases of disputable arms trade transactions from the past.

In 2000 and 2001, international smuggling rings abused loopholes in arms trade controls and sent military helicopters to Liberia, which is under a UN embargo. Officially, the helicopters came to Slovakia for repair, but loopholes in the arms trade legislation enabled their further export to Liberia.

In 2001 the Slovak government approved the export of surplus military jets to Angola, which, according to the HRW report, was also in contravention of the EU Code for Arms Export. The trade was discovered through investigations into corruption and conflict of interest.

The report also mentions another case in which Iranian cargo containing anti-tank munitions was seized at Bratislava's airport. The investigation into this case is still underway.

The final case mentioned by the HRW report occurred in 2002 when Slovakia exported nine D-90 cannons and six rocket launchers to Uganda, which is responsible for the continued fighting in the neighbouring Congo and the death of more than 3 million people.

Slovak authorities responsible for the arms trade said that the cases mentioned in the report would not have been stopped, even if stricter controls were introduced.

Top stories

EU roaming fees to end on June 15 – in theory

Slovak customers still waiting to find out how mobile operators will implement change.

Archaeologist pieces together early history of what is now western Slovakia Photo

For an archaeologist, the most important thing is his most recent rare discovery, says Július Vavák.

Students visited Svätý Jur as part of their European Wanderer project

How to sell Slovak books to English readers

Slovak literature makes it to the big bookstores of London, but it is unlikely to become a bestseller yet.

On Wednesday, Slovak literature will be presented in one of the biggest bookstores in London. Among the new books translated into English is also the anthology of current Slovak prose selected and translated by Magdalena Mullek and Júlia Sherwood.

General Prosecutor filed a motion for the dissolution of ĽSNS

The Slovak Supreme Court received a motion to dissolve the extreme right ĽSNS party founded and led by Marian Kotleba.

Jaromír Čižnár