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Tasers a form of torture, says UN

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) writes | more than 6 years ago

Government 5

"The use of" Tasers "causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture," the UN's Committee against Torture said, "In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events." Three men - all in their early 20s - died from Tasers in the United States this week, days after a Polish ma

"The use of" Tasers "causes acute pain, constituting a form of torture," the UN's Committee against Torture said, "In certain cases, they can even cause death, as has been shown by reliable studies and recent real-life events." Three men - all in their early 20s - died from Tasers in the United States this week, days after a Polish man died at Vancouver airport after being Tasered by Canadian police. There have also been three deaths in Canada after the use of Tasers in the past five weeks.

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5 comments

Why do you think they call it "pain compliance"? (1)

DaedalusHKX (660194) | more than 6 years ago | (#21465975)

Why do you think they call it "pain compliance"?

Obviously it isn't because it is "humane" or "civil" or "necessary" it is merely an option by which to extract "compliance".

Half Life 2 had these guys, they were called C.P.'s ... aka Civil Protection, they kicked people's doors in and sequestered "undesirables" (who were just about everybody outside of C.P. rosters.

Good game really, it paints the exact picture, in their future dystopia to exactly what is in the oven and baking in our fledgeling dystopia today. They're going to keep screwing with people, then something is going to click, someone along the lines of Gordon Freeman (respected, well known, etc) will snap, and after that, all bets on the future of humanity are off.

The other side of the coin (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21468015)

There are of course the situations where the alternative to using a taser is to shoot the person instead...

Re:The other side of the coin (1)

JesseL (107722) | more than 6 years ago | (#21468127)

To elaborate on that thought; tasers can provide an alternative to shooting (and likely killing) suspects or physically subduing (and risking injury or even death to suspects and officers).

The real problem seems to be rooted in the increasing trend among law enforcement officers to use violence to subdue non-violent suspects. There is little excuse for officers to be escalating confrontations, other than to empower a police state.

Re:The other side of the coin (1)

squiggleslash (241428) | more than 6 years ago | (#21470179)

Certain weapons can encourage that behavior, and it does appear that tasers are one of them. I've been following the whole "non-lethal weapons" debate since the 1980s, and the probability that the apparent safety implied by the "non-lethal" aspect of the weapon might encourage its use has always been raised. The prediction appears to have been born out.

In most of the high profile cases involving tasers, I'm surprised when I hear so many people defending the users, as I've yet to hear one high profile controversy where the authorities would have resorted to a different type of weapon given the same circumstances, or if they had, they'd have resorted to batons, and pretty much everyone including the taser apologists would have been on the side of the victim.

Which is kind of the issue really, both weapons are problematic and ultimately can be lethal in the wrong circumstances, but one is obviously violence, the other involves pushing a button like a remote control. Makes you think back to the Milgram Experiment [wikipedia.org] . Perhaps the key factors in Milgram were not just the authority figures, but also the dehumanizing power of the buttons. Come to think of it, I seriously doubt they would have had the same results if the experimentees had batons.

I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#21487307)

If wearing electrically conductive clothing to ground the current may be an adequate defense against this. The guys who repair high tension cables wear it so they can work on them with live current. At the same time we should build our own tasers and shoot back. Homemade weaponry is going to become quite the cottage industry, especially if the government succeeds in taking your guns and ammo away from you. God help them if ever piss off the Americans as much as they have the Iraqis. I hope you all have some nice booby traps set when the roundup comes to Yourtown, USA. The homeless and the unemployed will be the first. Please protect them as you would yourself.
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