IN SHORT

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.

Get daily Slovak news directly to your inbox

Top stories

News digest: Nationwide testing gained contours

The Defence Ministry reveals details on upcoming testing, removal of the STU rector was far from normal. Take a look at our latest news digest.

President Zuzana Čaputová meeting with scientists and experts on epidemiology, infectology and medicine.

Senate voted STU rector down. Police called to the uni as well

The session of the Academic Senate proposed that Rector Fikar be dismissed.

Miroslav Fikar

Dozens of people die of COVID every day. A drop not expected for at least two weeks

People who would otherwise survive may die of other serious diagnoses due to the epidemic.

Illustrative stock photo

Slovakia orders a curfew and embarks on its COVID experiment

High turnout in testing in four northern districts, decision awaited on extending the project to the nation. Prison for a prominent prosecutor and parliament's speaker injured.

Waiting for the results of COVID tests during the pilot phase of the nationwide testing in the town of Nižná in Orava, northern Slovakia.