Daily Revolt

November 24, 2007

Tasers a Form of Torture, says UN

The UN obviously has its priorities all mixed up. Tasers are intended to save lives, not torture. It would seem that they've reading to too many sensational news headlines that describe how people have died from tasers. What they don't mention is the lives that have been saved, including that of police officers. Tasers serve as a alternative to the use of lethal force, including shootings. Police confronted by an armed assailant now have the option of subduing a perpetrator without shooting.

There have been abuses, clearly. The solution is punish those cases where police use the tasers inappropriately. There should also be guideslines on their use. The real problem is the newsness of this technology. With time police will know when and how to use them. Also, the manufacturers will make tasers that are safer. Don't throw the baby out with the bath water. Their banning will mean more deaths not less. Meanwhile, the UN should spend its time trying to stop the mass genocide going throughout the world:

TASER electronic stun guns are a form of torture that can kill, a UN committee has declared after several recent deaths in North America.

"The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture,'' the UN's Committee against Torture said.

"In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events,'' the committee of 10 experts said.

Three men, all in their early 20s, were reported to have died in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being Tasered by Canadian police.

The man, Robert Dziekanski, 40, fell to the ground and died after the police officers piled on top of him.

There have been three deaths in Canada after the use of Tasers over the past five weeks.

The company that makes the weapons has said that similar deaths have been shown by "medical science and forensic analysis'' to be "attributable to other factors and not the low-energy electrical discharge of the Taser".

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