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Tasers a form of torture, says UN

By Chris V. Thangham     Nov 25, 2007 in Politics
The UN’s Committee against Torture said that the use of Taser stun guns are a form a torture that can kill. After the recent deaths in the U.S. and in Canada, the committee said countries should give up using Tasers.
After a Polish man died in Vancouver due to Taser shocks by Canadian police, there have been at least three deaths of men in their early 20s by Taser guns. A UN Committee against Torture said these stun guns are a form of torture that can kill.
The committee said in a report:
"The use of these weapons causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture…In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events”.
The committee said during the past five weeks in Canada, when the Polish man Robert Dzikenaski died, two more men died in Canada after being subdued by Tasers.
Tom Smith, founder and chairman of Arizona-based TASER International Inc, however said in a recent article that the Taser is not the reason the Canadian died at the airport and is attributed to other medical factors such as delirium. He said the video demonstrated he died of excited delirium and not because of cardiac arrest due to being Tasered.
The UN committee made these comments in recommendations to Portugal, which has bought the newest Taser X26 gun for use by police. They said Portugal should give up the use of Taser, as its use can have a grave physical and mental impact on those who are hit by the Taser. The committee concludes that this violates the UN’s Convention against Torture.
The U.S. government should do a thorough review and make sure the Taser use is safe or not. But there has been no new reports from them in this regard. If Tom Smith says his TASERs are safe, then he should provide more proof to the public, but I doubt he will do so. It can’t be a coincidence to see so many deaths in such a short period.
More about Tasers, Torture, United Nations
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