EU must halt torture trade
(Brussels, 28 April 2012) In the week that the world commemorates the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, new evidence released by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation has underlined the urgent need for the EU and its member states to step up their attempts to halt the trade in tools of torture.
“Torture equipment explicitly prohibited under EU legislation must not be offered for sale by anybody in the EU”, said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “Companies in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the UK have been freely marketing tools of torture including electric shock belts and stun cuffs for export in their catalogues and websites.”
The new report identifies numerous loopholes in current EU regulation which have allowed traders to freely promote equipment which abets capital punishment, torture and other ill-treatment by military, security and law-enforcement staff. There are no controls to prevent traders at European arms fairs from marketing such goods. At such exhibitions in France, companies were promoting spiked batons, spiked shields, thumb cuffs, fetters and restraint chairs.
“These loopholes in the controls undermine the objective of the Regulation to prevent the trade in ‘tools of torture’, and can be exploited by unscrupulous traders willing to profit from human misery”, said Michael Crowley of the Omega Research Foundation. “The European Commission and member states must act now to strengthen the Regulation and ensure its full implementation throughout the EU. There should be no more excuses and no more delays.“
For the report, please see https://www.amnesty.eu/en/documents/all/
For more information please contact:
Media & Communications Officer
European Institutions Office
Tel: +32 (0) 2 548 2773