Issue #1448 24 March 2010
Europe and trade for torture
While the European Parliament sets about issuing resolutions on human rights violations, it cannot or does not want to look within, where more than one of its nations is truly a glass house in this context.
For example, European companies continue to market instruments of torture all over the world. Handcuffs that release electric shocks of up to 50,000 volts, thumb cuffs, and electroshock weapons are being utilised by police and security forces to torture people, even though Europe banned the international sale of these types of instruments in 2006.
However, several European countries are not complying with the regulation. The website Red Adital reveals that from 2006 to 2009, the Czech Republic issued export licenses for foot cuffs, electroshock weapons and chemical sprays, and Germany did so for foot currents and chemical sprays, as well as nine countries where the police and security forces had previously used these materials to inflict torture and abuse.
The website also reveals that Hungary, a member of the European Union, has stated that it intends to introduce instruments such as paralysing electric belts into its jails and police stations. This type of apparatus has been banned, because it is considered that its use inherently constitutes torture or abuse.
Next article – Czech young communists meet after four-year ban
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