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Colombia: Arms Trade

Question for Foreign and Commonwealth Office

UIN HL6711, tabled on 10 July 2020

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to recent reports of illegal surveillance by Colombian Military Intelligence on civil society organisations, what steps they have taken to establish whether cryptographic equipment exported by the UK to Colombia has been used in this type of activity.

Answered on

22 July 2020

We are aware of allegations that Colombian state actors have been illegally gathering surveillance on civil society organisations. We expect state authorities to comply fully with their human rights obligations, and the United Kingdom is committed to protecting and promoting human rights in Colombia. We welcome the Colombian authorities' announcement of an investigation into these allegations and their commitment to hold those responsible to account.

The UK Government rigorously examines each export licence application on a case-by-case basis against the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria. Risks around human rights violations or abuses are a key part of our assessment. We do not export equipment and technology where we assess there is a clear risk that it might be used for internal repression.