Major Olympic sponsor GE is facing calls to honour the ‘Olympic Truce’ by acting to stop the use of its drone components in strikes carried out by the US in Pakistan and Yemen.
GE Intelligent Platforms, which operates in Towcester, UK, describes itself as “The UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] Company,” and highlights in promotional material how its products are used in military drones, including control systems for the Predator – which is commonly used by the CIA to carry out strikes on alleged ‘militants.’ The strikes have killed hundreds of civilians, including at least 175 children in Pakistan alone.
The legal charity Reprieve has called on GE, as a Worldwide Partner to the Olympics, to honour the ‘Olympic truce’ – an ancient tradition that hostilities should be suspended during the Games, which was recently revived and received the backing of a UN resolution.
GE could fulfil its obligations by bringing pressure to bear on the US Government to suspend its programme of illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, at the very least for the duration of the truce period.
Reprieve’s Director, Clive Stafford Smith, has written to GE asking them to act. In the letter, he states: “As proud sponsor of the London 2012 Olympics, I urge your company to respect and uphold the Olympic Truce. You could achieve this goal by publicly urging the US government to require that the CIA halt the deadly and illegal drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen at least throughout the duration of the Olympics. The people of Pakistan and Yemen would be grateful to you and so would their athletes present at the Olympics knowing that they can come and go to this extraordinary sports event without fear for their own lives or the lives of their families.”