Amnesty International says Lichfield factory protest is ‘understandable’

A protest against the manufacture of drone engines in Lichfield is “understandable”, according to Amnesty International.

Members of the London Palestine Action Group have chained themselves to the roof of the UAV Engines factory in Shenstone.

Police in a cherrypicker trying to talk to the protesters. Pic: London Palestine Action

Police in a cherrypicker trying to talk to the protesters. Pic: London Palestine Action

Their protest centres around what they say is the use of parts made by the firm in Israeli drone technology.

Police officers are currently trying to talk them down, but their efforts have now been backed by Amnesty International.

Amnesty International UK Arms Programme Campaign Manager Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International UK’s arms programme campaign manager, said: “It’s understandable that protesters are targeting UAV Engines given past concerns about the company supplying Israel with engines for drones.

“The government has previously claimed UAV Engines is only licensed to sell drone engines to Israel for onward export, but the fear is that this Israeli-owned company’s engines are actually powering Israeli drones over Gaza, or that the technology is being copied to allow Israel to fly its drone vehicles.

“Do we really want to see engines from Lichfield helping the Israeli military carry out war crimes in Gaza?

“Quite frankly no UK-based company should currently be supplying the Israeli military with any arms or equipment.

“Before these protests escalate, Downing Street should announce an immediate suspension of any further arms to Israel. We should not be complicit in war crimes.”

Despite the best efforts of police, there has so far been no sign of the protesters coming down.

And they insist they are not to blame for the situation.

“The real criminals work in this building,” a spokesperson said. “It’s not just families that have been murdered, but whole communities.

“Weapons made here are being exported to kill Palestinians.”

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