Activists blockade weapon’s manufacturer

Activists outside the gates of Nioa. Photo: Margie Pestorius

Activists from Quaker and Catholic community groups took action outside weapons manufacturer Nioa’s gates in Pinkenba, Queensland, on February 10.

Nioa has partnered with Rheinmetall Waffe Munition to become a leading supplier of weapons and munitions to the Australian Defence Force.

The joint venture is set to produce and export ammunition for the US F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program.

“We have asked Nioa to rule out exporting munitions to Indonesia,” spokesperson Margaret Pestorius said.

The groups are highlighting the links between weapon’s manufacturers and human rights violations in West Papua, southern Philippines and, possibly, Myanmar/Burma.

“The weapon’s business is setting up to export munitions to countries that commit human rights abuses,” Pestorius said.

Pestorius said that Rheinmetall Nioa will be pressuring the Australian government for export licences that allow the sale of munitions to Indonesia. 

“Both Rheinmetall and Nioa are sponsors of the Land Forces exhibition in June at the Brisbane Convention Centre. This expo is about pushing more weapons into the Indo- Pacific.” She said Rheinmetall is already selling munitions and armoured vehicles to Indonesia.

[To find out more about the action at Land Forces, click here.]

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