Stopping the Torture Trade. January 2001.
Some of this equipment has changed little over the years. Leg irons and shackles, for example, are reminiscent of the cruelty and inhumanity of the slave trade. However, modern technologies, such as electro-shock devices, are an increasing part of the torturer’s armoury. All these devices and weapons, no matter how different, have in common the potential to inflict severe pain and injury. They also share a serious lack of official controls on their manufacture and sale. This report examines the continuing trade in older tools of torture as well as the growing trade in electro-shock technology. It looks at the increasing use of so-called “non-lethal” weapons, such as tear gas and chemical irritants, and how these can facilitate torture. It also shows how the unscrupulous transfer of military and security training and expertise helps train torturers. Stopping the torture trade is an important part of the campaign to eradicate torture. This report makes a number of recommendations to governments as well as to companies on how this can be done.