Arms fair advertises banned torture products


11:17 pm - September 14th 2011

by Newswire    


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Amnesty International has obtained brochures from the Defense and Security International fair (DSEi) currently taking place in London’s Docklands, which appear to clearly show illegal torture equipment advertised.

Despite explicit acknowledgments on the DSEi website that the sale of “leg irons, gang chains, shackles and shackle bracelets” are prohibited, the brochures Amnesty has obtained, advertise the products for sale from a company called CTS-Thompson on display at the Beechwood Equipment stall.

A double-page spread in the brochure clearly offers oversized leg cuffs, waist chains, lead chains and “the enhanced transport restraint system”, which combines waist chains and cuffs with leg cuffs.

Oliver Sprague, Amnesty International’s Arms Programme Director, said:

Sadly this is not the first time that DSEi has allowed prohibited torture equipment to find its way onto exhibitors’ stands, despite a public commitment to monitor compliance, and scrutinize all advertising material.

The promotion of leg restraints, waist chains and metal leads has quite rightly been outlawed in the UK and we expect both the authorities and the fair organisers to take swift action against any company in breach of the law and ban them from participation immediately.

With companies openly flogging torture equipment on one side of the counter and delegates from countries like Bahrain on the other, it is hardly the sort of matchmaking that Londoners should be proud to host.

At DSEi in 2007, researchers discovered two companies, BCB International (Cardiff) and Famous Glory Holding (China) promoting banned leg restraints. The two companies were expelled from the exhibition by organisers Reed Elsevier.

To obtain a copy of the brochure, or for further comment or interview, contact Amnesty International.

From a press release

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Reader comments


1. So Much For Subtlety

To call leg restraints torture equipment is so far out of the paddock it is not even bizarre. It is a type of Orwellian distortion of the truth.

The problem here is that the government has tried to appease people who are clearly not appeasable. There is no point doing what AI wants on this issue because they are insane. They should be ignored. There simply is no harm whatsoever in displaying and advertising leg restraints.

And if we do ban them, the only reasonable assumption is that they will find something else to call torture equipment and complain about that. It is sad to see what AI has become.

Sounds fair to be honest! No need for adverts on this, whoever is interested will find out through other ways.

Whether you think they should be categorised as torture equipment or not is beside the point – the UK has declared them illegal. So though they cannot be legally used in the UK it’s (apparently) quite legal to sell them to other countries. This is what AI is arguing against.

If you think they should be permitted in the UK, then the law needs changing and you should contact your MP to get it changed.

4. So Much For Subtlety

2. Adam

Sounds fair to be honest! No need for adverts on this, whoever is interested will find out through other ways.

They will just go to China and buy from them.

3. Claire

Whether you think they should be categorised as torture equipment or not is beside the point – the UK has declared them illegal. So though they cannot be legally used in the UK it’s (apparently) quite legal to sell them to other countries. This is what AI is arguing against.

No it is not. It is precisely the point because it goes to AI’s motivations. Leg restraints cannot, by any sane definition, be called torture devices. AI has lobbied the government to declare them illegal. The government has done the usual gutless thing and caved. But as we can see AI is not appeaseable. There is nothing we can give them that will make them happy. They will be complaining about chilli next (and why not? It has been used to torture Indian suspects by policemen since the 17th century at least).

The only solution is not to indulge their claims but to ignore them completely. Leg restraints should not be illegal and even if they are anything AI says on the issue is not worth bothering with.

If you think they should be permitted in the UK, then the law needs changing and you should contact your MP to get it changed.

@4

“AI has lobbied the government to declare them illegal. The government has done the usual gutless thing and caved. But as we can see AI is not appeaseable. There is nothing we can give them that will make them happy. They will be complaining about chilli next (and why not? It has been used to torture Indian suspects by policemen since the 17th century at least).”

Let’s say the government ‘caved in’ as a result of AI lobbying. How does them then expecting the ban to be enforced make them unappeasable? It’s not like they’ve moved straight on to calling for a ban on all restraints.

C’mon.

“Leon Panetta, the CIA director, has confirmed that controversial ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ such as waterboarding yielded some of the intelligence information that ultimately led to Osama bin Laden.”
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/al-qaeda/8491509/Osama-bin-Laden-killed-CIA-admits-waterboarding-yielded-vital-information.html

Think how much more successful the rack would have been as an enhanced interrogation method. It certainly worked with Guy Fawkes in 1605 following his arrest on the attempt to blow up Parliament at the state opening on 5 November 1605. By the BBC report:

“Guy Fawkes could have changed the face of London if his 1605 plot had not been foiled, explosion experts have said. His 2,500 kg of gunpowder could have caused chaos and devastation over a 490-metre radius, they have calculated. Fawkes’ planned blast was powerful enough to destroy Westminster Hall and the Abbey, with streets as far as Whitehall suffering damage, they say.”

This was a more ambitious plot than 9/11 – the life of President Bush was not at risk – so discovering who Fawkes’ fellow conspirators were was a matter of high priority least they were developing other covert plots. Nine of the conspirators were captured alive. One died and the remaining eight were tried and convicted of treason for which the regular sentence by law was hanging, drawing and quartering. The sentences were duly executed in public on 30 and 31 January 1606.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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  39. Torture gear at British arms fair | Dear Kitty. Some blog

    […] Organisers of the London arms fair launched a desperate damage limitation exercise today by expelling a British firm openly advertising banned torture equipment. […]





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