Chris Cole (48) from Oxford was arrested for spraying ‘DSEi Kills’ and ‘Stop the Arms Trade’ at the entrance to the arms fair as delegates queued to enter. He has pleaded ‘not guilty’ to charges of Criminal Damage arguing that he was acting to prevent the unlawful activity that was taking place at the arms fair.
The DSEi arms fair takes place at the ExCel Center in London’s Docklands every two years. Five countries attending the fair were listed by the UK Foreign Office as countries with "the most serious wide-ranging human rights concerns". These are Colombia, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Vietnam. Researchers and activists have repeated found equipment advertised for sale at the arms fair that are in breach of UK Export Control regulations. At the September 2011 exhibition both cluster munitions and illegal leg irons and ‘transport restraint’ equipment were being offered for sale. Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International’s Arms Programme Director, an acknowledged expert in international export control regulations will give evidence at the trial on behalf of the defence.
Chris Cole said “The DSEi arms fair is a key component of the international arms trade that is responsible for thousands of deaths each year and must be stopped. If the authorities refuse to act, individuals have a responsibility to prevent such unlawful activity."
A support vigil for Chris Cole will take place before the trial outside the court from 9.15am.
For more details contact Chris Cole on 07960 811437
Westminster Magistrates Court is at 181 Marylebone Road, London NW1 5BR