EU bans trade of devices used to torture

EU bans trade of devices used to torture

[JURIST] The European Union on Thursday banned the trade of instruments "that have no use other than for capital punishment or torture" according to a European Commission statement. Banned goods include belts that shock with electricity, electric chairs and guillotines. Strict controls will also be imposed on other items, such as leg irons and electric shock weapons, which are able to be used to torture or other cruel or inhumane punishment. A Commission spokesperson acknowledged that the ban was largely symbolic given the small market for such items but stressed that it brought the rules "in line with our political principles." Amnesty International [advocacy website] called the ban a positive step but added that it would do nothing to stop many kinds of mental or moral torture. Review the Guidelines to EU policy towards third countries on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. EUobserver has more.