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PACE calls for ban on trade in items used in executions or torture

PACE has called for a ban on trade in items used in executions or torture – urging all 47 Council of Europe member States to apply the approach of the EU, which bans some items and operates a case-by-case licensing system for others.

In a recommendation to the Council of Europe’s governmental body, based on a report by Vusal Huseynov (Azerbaijan, EPP/CD), the Assembly said it was concerned that such a trade “continues to take place” in some Council of Europe member States.

The report lists leg-irons, electro-shock weapons and chemical irritant devices, “thumbcuffs”, spiked batons and shields, weighted restraints and wall or ceiling cuffs among items that could be regulated.

Some items – such as those “which have no practical use other than for the purposes of the death penalty or torture” – should be banned outright, the Assembly said. Others, designed for legitimate use by police or security services but which could be abused to carry out torture, should require authorisation.

The Council of Europe’s ministerial body will now consider the Assembly’s recommendation.