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UN ‘Torture Committee’ Takes On Tasers

From the New York Times:

U.N. Torture Panel Singles Out Tasers

November 26, 2007

By Mike Nizza

All news reports about deaths that follow Taser shocks seem to come with two accompaniments: outrage over police brutality on the one hand, and a lack of definitive proof that the weapon was to blame on the other. A man’s death in Vancouver, B.C., on Saturday was no different. But it happened to come a day after a United Nations panel appeared to take a stand against Tasers.

The U.N. Committee Against Torture singled out Tasers at the end of a conference in Geneva, expressing concern that the most popular model caused so much pain that use of it “constituted a form of torture.”

The panel also strongly disagreed with Taser International, the weapon’s inventor, by saying that the shocks “could also cause death” in certain cases, citing “several reliable studies” that the company no doubt strongly disagrees with.

The company’s Web site appears to contain no mention of the loaded word “torture,” although it does concede in broad terms that the weapon, advertised as nonlethal, is not completely safe (emphasis added):

TASER technology is not risk free, but Independent medical and scientific experts have determined that when used properly, TASER technology is among the most effective use-of-force interventions available to law enforcement.

Amnesty International recently called for more intensive training programs, a position shared by Taser International but perhaps more easily said than done for busy law enforcement agencies.

The rights group was reacting to another Taser incident in Vancouver several weeks ago that was captured in a disturbing video clip. A Polish man, apparently in a volatile state, was subdued at a Vancouver airport using the weapon. Later, he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Taser International analyzed the video of the “tragic incident” and said that the man’s “continuing struggle is proof that the TASER device was not the cause of his death.” The company has yet to admit that any death anywhere was caused by its products.

But that didn’t stop some 1,000 people from protesting on Saturday in Vancouver, just as the more recent death after a Taser shot was announced there — the third in Canada in six weeks.

Similar protests have yet to emerge in the United States, even as similar cases pile up here. The Associated Press counted six deadly incidents last week…

Clearly the New York Times, the UN and the other “human rights” groups like Amnesty International are merely responding to our earlier question as to how waterboarding (which has caused no deaths) is deemed torture, and tasering (which has caused hundreds to die) is not.

Of course they didn’t mention Mr. Kerry.

This article was posted by Steve on Monday, November 26th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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