Daily Archives: March 1, 2016

Sweden | Asia and the Middle East lead rise in arms imports; the United States and Russia remain largest arms exporters

The volume of international transfers of major weapons has grown continuously since 2004 and rose by 14 per cent between 2006–10 and 2011–15, according to new data on international arms transfers published  by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).

Six of the top 10 largest arms importers in the 5-year period 2011–15 are in Asia and Oceania: India (14 per cent of global arms imports), China (4.7 per cent), Australia (3.6 per cent), Pakistan (3.3 per cent), Viet Nam (2.9 per cent) and South Korea (2.6 per cent). Viet Nam’s arms imports rose by 699 per cent. Arms imports by states in Asia and Oceania increased by 26 per cent between 2006–10 and 2011–15, with states in the region receiving 46 per cent of global imports in 2011–15.

‘China continues to expand its military capabilities with imported and domestically produced weapons,’ said Siemon Wezeman, Senior Researcher with the SIPRI Arms and Military Expenditure Programme. ‘Neighbouring states such as India, Viet Nam and Japan are also significantly strengthening their military forces.’

Greece | Anti-torture body says Greek prisons at ‘breaking point’

Greek prisons are overcrowded, violent, understaffed, fail to meet adequate health standards and are reaching “breaking point,” according to a report by the Council of Europe’s Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CPT).

USA | Committee to protect journalists calls on Turkey to drop charges against Cumhuriyet journalists

The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed the conditional release of Turkish journalists Can Dündar and Erdem Gül, of the daily newspaper Cumhuriyet, and called on authorities to drop all charges against them. The two, who spent 92 days in pre-trial detention, still face multiple life sentences if convicted of exposing state secrets, espionage, and aiding a terrorist group for publishing reports alleging Turkey tried to smuggle weapons to Islamists in Syria.