The implications of the use of 'less lethal weapons'

A new joint report by Amnesty International and Omega Research Foundation investigates the human rights impact of less lethal weapons and other law enforcement equipment used in places of detention and in policing of protests. 

It looks at weapons in five categories: restraints, kinetic impact devices, chemical irritants (including riot control agents), electric shock devices, and other technologies such as acoustic devices. 

Taser troubles

More than 14,700 police are now armed with tasers. Figures due out tomorrow will show that in 2009 there were 3,500 taser deployments, rising to more than 7,000 a year in 2010 and 2011. The police have now been instructed to refrain from using the weapons at point blank range after a surge in complaints, reports The Guardian and The Times.

Taser trouble

Police officers could face criminal charges after a blind man was shot with a 50,000-volt Taser when his white stick was mistaken for a Samurai sword. Prosecutors confirmed that police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has passed them a file for consideration after 63 year old Colin Farmer, who is visually impaired, was hit with the stun gun in October last year.

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