Protests in the US have erupted following the death of a black man, George Floyd, who was suffocated after a policeman knelt on his neck.

The police response has seen security forces deploying gas and baton rounds against peaceful demonstrators.

Munira, along with 165 other MPs, has written to the International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, calling for an immediate ban on tear gas and rubber bullet exports to the US.

The Letter

The group of cross-party Parliamentarians, organised by Dawn Butler MP, argue in the letter that:

“There is clear evidence to show that the aforementioned items are being misused. The UK will urgently need to investigate to ascertain whether any of those used were supplied by the UK.

Therefore, we call on the UK Government to immediately suspend all export licences to the US of all riot-related items. Let us heed the words of Martin Luther King Jr – an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Munira’s Response

Following signing the letter, Munira said:

“The reports and images of violence being inflicted on peaceful protesters and reporters are absolutely appalling. The UK must immediately suspend the sale of any equipment used to target unarmed civilians in this way.

The Government’s own rules say such exports should not go ahead where they are likely to be used for “internal repression”. The USA cannot be an exception.

That’s why my Liberal Democrat colleagues and I are supporting calls for the Government to immediately suspend the sale of anti-crowd gas, riot equipment, rubber bullets and other small items to the US and investigate if these items have been misused.”

Photo credit: Phil Roeder from here