NEW YORK, Nov. 25, 2007
(CBS/AP) A United Nations committee said Friday that use of Taser weapons can be a form of torture, in violation of the U.N. Convention Against Torture.
Use of the electronic stun devices by police has been marked with a sudden rise in deaths – including four men in the United States and two in Canada within the last week.
Canadian authorities are taking a second look at them, and in the United States, there is a wave of demands to BAN them.
The U.N. Committee Against Torture referred Friday to the use of TaserX26 weapons which Portuguese police has acquired. An expert had testified to the committee that use of the weapons had “proven risks of harm or death.”
“The use of TaserX26 weapons, provoking extreme pain, constituted a form of torture, and that in certain cases it could also cause death, as shown by several reliable studies and by certain cases that had happened after practical use,” the committee said in a statement.
“Well, it means that it’s a very serious thing,” Amnesty International USA Executive Director Larry Cox told CBS Early Show co-anchor Julie Chen. “These are people that have seen torture around the world, all kinds of torture. So they don’t use the word lightly.”