Taser Use Is Torture , A UN Report says - RePress

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Wednesday, May 20

Taser Use Is Torture , A UN Report says

From the Green Party:

The Government should take note of concerns the United Nations Committee Against Torture has regarding the use of the electric stun gun known as the Taser in New Zealand, said Green Party Human Rights Spokesperson Keith Locke.

The UN Committee Against Torture has just issued its five-yearly report on New Zealand’s compliance with the UN Convention Against Torture.

The Committee notes in its report that it is ‘deeply concerned’ about New Zealand’s introduction of this 50,000-volt weapon which ‘causes severe pain constituting a form of torture, and that in some cases may even cause death’.

"New Zealand politicians should listen when a reputable UN committee says this 50,000-volt stun gun inflicts ‘a form of torture’ on its targets," said Mr Locke.

The UN Committee was also concerned regarding the ‘impartiality’ of the Independent Police Conduct Authority noting that it may it ‘might be hampered by the inclusion of both current and former police officers’, particularly when investigating allegations of ‘ill-treatment’ by Police.

"The Police have had a pretty easy ride so far in introducing the Taser, with the Independent Police Conduct Authority ignoring the concerns many Kiwis have around the Taser," said Mr Locke.

"The Green Party considers - as does the UN Committee in its report - that for best practice the Authority should be ‘staffed with independent experts drawn from outside the Police.’

"In light of the UN Committee’s report the Prime Minister John Key needs to re-think his recent statements giving the green light to all front-line Police having access to Tasers."

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