US House Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Make Human Rights 'Integral Part’ of Arms Sales

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Weapons - Sputnik International, 1920, 20.10.2021
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Approval of future US arms deals would be prohibited to nations that violate internationally-recognized human rights standards under legislation announced by House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Gregory Meeks on Wednesday.
"The SAFEGUARD Act imposes much-needed reforms to the Arms Export Control Act to make the protection of human rights an integral part in the transfer of lethal arms and defense services to foreign countries," Meeks and other members of his committee said in a press release.
The bill mirrors similar legislation now pending in the US Senate, the release said.
While the release named no nations as examples, a recent report by Human Rights Watch (HRW) cited Biden administration arms sales to three nations with sketchy rights records, including a $2.5 billion package for the Philippines in June that includes fighter jets and two kinds of precision guided missiles.
The deal was announced within weeks of the International Criminal Court prosecutor seeking approval for a formal investigation into reports of extrajudicial killings in the Philippines crackdown on illegal drugs, HRW said.
Other examples cited by the rights group included US plans to sell Egypt missiles worth $197 million and approval of a $735 million sale of precision guided missiles to Israel in May, amid the nation’s military offensive in Gaza.
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