At last, EU progress on halting execution and torture trade
(Brussels, 21 December 2011) Amnesty International has welcomed long-awaited changes to European Union rules on the trade in drugs used for execution and equipment used for torture, which will be brought in today. The new controls include a ban on export sales of equipment such as spiked batons and electric shock devices designed to be attached to the body.
“The European Commission’s actions are a vital first step in closing the loopholes to which we and the Omega Research Foundation have been alerting the EU for the past couple of years”, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “It’s good to see that pressure from NGOs and the European Parliament has meant some of the most glaring problems have now been resolved. But there remain other loopholes in the Regulation which must be tackled, most notably the need for an end-use catch-all clause.”
Amnesty International has told the Commission it must follow up implementation of Council Regulation (EC) 1236/2005 with EU countries and proceed with amending the regulation to halt the trade in execution and torture products. The organisation plans to work on the issue with the Commission, member states and the European Parliament in the New Year. Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation will shortly issue an update to their 2010 report (From words to deeds: Making the EU ban on the trade in tools of torture a reality) recommending the next steps for the EU to take.
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