Edinburgh Cuts Funding from Terror Weapons
Edinburgh University cut £1.2 million a year from terror-weapon company
Bowing to pressure from students, The University of Edinburgh is cancelling investment of £1.2 million a year in a drone making company.
After a 2012 freedom of information request, Edinburgh University revealed that it annually invested £1,244,672 in Ultra Electronics, which makes components for US military ‘drones’.
First covered by The Tab in March, a debate by the Pakistan Society first brought the funding to the attention of students. Now, pressure from EUSA, People and Planet (a green student group) and Reprieve (a human rights charity), has caused the university to abandon investing in the business, as it is not “socially responsible”.
Drones are unmanned aircraft used by the US military for “targeted killing” and Ultra Electronics supply navigation controls for the aircraft. The drones are used on covert anti-terror missions and have been accused of killing over 400 civilians since 2002, including 173 children.
Many attacks are in breach of international law, because they target countries that are not at war with the US. In May this year, the Pakistani High Court declared that the strikes are war crimes.
A university spokesperson told The Guardian that: “We are committed to socially responsible investment and are the first university in Europe to sign up to the UN principles of responsible investment.”
Catherine Gilfedder, of anti-drone charity Reprieve, said: “In divesting from Ultra Electronics, Edinburgh University has demonstrated its disapproval of companies profiting from such killings, and the importance of socially responsible investment.”
For some, ending investment in military tech is only the first step, and questions should be raised over the rest of Edinburgh’s £230 million portfolio. Edinburgh has money in corporations like Monsanto, Shell, Total and, worst of all, Tesco.