German gun manufacturer Heckler & Koch has banned the sale of weapons to corrupt countries including Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
The Jerusalem Post reported that the company made the decision because it is difficult to obtain licenses from the German government to supply weapons to countries which are corrupt, undemocratic, or not affiliated in some way to NATO.
The list of countries include Israel, Mexico, India, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, the UAE, Turkey, Malaysia, Indonesia and all African countries.
According to the Jerusalem Post the company announced in its latest annual report that it would sell weapons only to NATO member states or NATO similar member states like Switzerland, Austria and New Zealand and other countries whose indicators are high on Transparency International’s standards.
According to the Guardian, the move will make Heckler & Koch the first arms company to adopt an ethical policy to control its arms exports, outperforming the government’s policy.
Germany, the world’s fifth-largest arms exporter with sales of $8.22 billion last year, is preparing an initiative that will enable it to monitor how its arms exports are used.
It is estimated that some two million people have been killed by weapons manufactured by Heckler & Koch since 1949. They include former Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, who was killed in 2011 using a machine gun developed by the company.