The EU strengthens its legislation against trade in instruments of torture
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    The EU strengthens its legislation against trade in instruments of torture

    © Belga
    The EU tightens the screws on the carriage of instruments of torture through member states.
    © Belga

    Whether they involve electric shock therapy, handcuffs, or riot guns the EU has yesterday passed legislation aiming to better regulate and monitor the sale of particular products. If misused in non-democratic countries the instruments could constitute tools of torture.

    The new legislation, which was approved by a large majority by the European Parliament, having already received the backing of members states should enter into force at the beginning of 2017.

    It bridges the gaps levelled by some NGOs in the previous legislative text, which dates back to 2005.

    The German Green M.P, Barbara Lochbihler, summed up, “There are still companies in the EU which both market and export products for so-called ‘security’ purposes.”

    She went on, “These are in fact used or might be used for torture purposes or carrying out the death penalty.”

    She concluded,“It is this that we wish to put an end to.”

    By means of this new legislation, it will henceforth be prohibited to transit through the EU territory, devices prohibited in Europe, or to undertake publicity in this regard.

    The publicity aspect includes over the Internet or within specialist fairs, organised in Europe, around the theme of security or the maintenance of order.

    Since 2005, devices which obviously are meant to be used to execute or torture individuals (electric chairs, “metal thumb cuffs” used to crush fingers, hand-held spiked batons and other items), were already prohibited from use.

    However, carrying them through an EU state was, up until now authorised.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times