Police Use ‘Less-Lethal’ Weapons for Torture – Rights Groups

© AP Photo / Rodrigo AbdPolice fire rubber bullets at protestors in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014
Police fire rubber bullets at protestors in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Thursday, June 12, 2014 - Sputnik International
Police forces and prison official around the world routinely use "less-lethal" weapons and equipment for torture,according to the joint statement of Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Law enforcement agencies around the world routinely use "less-lethal" weapons and equipment for torture, leading human rights organizations stated Monday.

Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation made the statement as they launched a briefing at the United Nations Crime Congress, underway in Doha, Qatar.

The advocacy groups recommended the application of stricter controls or bans on the use of weapons and other law enforcement equipment professionally defined as "less lethal" due to the high risks involved.

In this Dec. 4, 2014, file photo, police make arrests after protesters rallying against a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner attempted to block traffic at the intersection of 42nd Street and Seventh Avenue near Times Square, in New York - Sputnik International
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"Police forces and prison officials have at their disposal a dizzying array of weapons and kit that, while known as 'less-lethal', can cause serious injury or even death," Marek Marczynski, Head of Military, Security and Police at Amnesty International said, as quoted in the statement.

He added that in dozens of countries around the world, Amnesty International has documented police use of tear gas, rubber bullets and electric shock equipment, among many other dangerous devices, to quell protests and subjugate detainees.

"Clearer standards are urgently needed for the selection, testing, use and evaluation of such equipment to ensure its use is in line with international human rights law and standards," the human rights group official said.

Amnesty International and Omega stressed the importance of developing less-lethal weapons, equipment and technologies, to reduce the risk of death or injury inherent in police use of firearms and other weapons.

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