- Small arms exports to Singapore, South Korea and the USA show: Voluntary restrictions by Heckler & Koch are not consistently implemented
- Personnel carousel, neither victim-support fund nor arms conversion: Countermotions demand not to discharge the board of directors and supervisory board of the H&K AG
- Critical shareholders submit 120 questions (see www.rib-ev.de) on the alarming developments of the company, also under Nicolas Walewski (CDE)
On the occasion of the Annual General Meeting of Heckler & Koch AG (H&K) taking place the day after tomorrow, the Alliance of Critical Shareholders of Heckler & Koch demands that the small arms producer does not further undermine its self-imposed “Green Country Strategy” with new exceptions and initiates a turnaround in its corporate development.
Ruth Rohde, a board member at the Arms Information Centre (RIB e.V.), criticizes: “Up to this point the ‘Green Countries Strategy’ has been used as a PR stunt instead of being consistently implemented. The planned small arms exports to Singapore and South Korea, applied for by H&K and approved by the Federal Security Council at the beginning of July 2020, have undermined previous statements that the company only wants to supply NATO, NATO-associated or EU countries.” According to the human rights report of Amnesty International, Singapore is being further de-democratized, human and civil rights are being further dismantled, and the death penalty has been and is being carried out. South Korea is tied up in a military conflict with North Korea, violent clashes can occur at any time – then also with H&K weapons. In addition, the supply to states covered by the Green Countries Strategy is also more than questionable. Continuing police violence in the USA, for example, has recently dominated the news.
American police units are also in possession of H&K weapons. “The current personnel squabbles must not distract from this: So far there is no sign of a strategy that is really oriented towards human rights instead of profits,” summarizes Paul Russmann, member of the advisory board of the organization Living Without Armaments in Stuttgart. “If Heckler & Koch would really implement its ‘Green Country Strategy’ consistently, the exceptions for states with poor human rights records should be prohibited”.
Jürgen Grässlin, chair of the board at the Arms Information Centre, federal spokesperson of the DFG-VK and the Outcry Campaign to Stop the Arms Trade has demanded in two countermotions that the supervisory board and the board of directors should not be discharged (c.f. https://www.gn-stat.org/english/offending-companies/heckler-eng/). “The personnel carousel at the company is in full swing – meanwhile the H&K management continues to fail blatantly on an ethical and moral level,” he says justifying his motions. “Heckler & Koch still refuses to pay the fine of 3.7 million euros imposed on it for the illegal G36 rifle exports to forbidden provinces of conflict in Mexico.
The same applies to the victim-support fund – or even a kind of social fond envisioned by H&K – for the victims of H&K’s weapons export policy and for the arms conversion, the conversion toward a sensible, sustainable production. The new H&K majority shareholder Nicolas Walewski of CDE has not sent out any positive signals so far. We critical shareholders are waiting in vain for any positive signs from Walewski. This is why we have submitted 120 questions concerning the precarious company developments in all central aspects.”
The Critical Shareholders Heckler & Koch are using their right to ask questions to confront the supervisory board and board of directors oft he arms producer and inquire about their ways of doing business.
Countermotions Jürgen Grässlin on behalf of the critical shareholders:
– Jürgen Grässlin, RIB e.V. with the GLOBAL NET – STOP THE ARMS TRADE, DFG-VK, Outcry Campaign to Stop the Arms Trade
Phone: 0049-761-7678208, Mobile: 0049-170-6113759, jg[at]rib-ev.de, www.rib-ev.de, www.gn-stat.org, www.aufschrei-waffenhandel.de, www.dfg-vk.de
– Tilman Massa, Association of Ethical Shareholders, Phone: 0049-221-5995647, Mobile: 0049-173-7135237, dachverband[at]kritischeaktionaere.de, www.kritischeaktionaere.de