EU: An appraisal of technologies for political control








Working document

(Consultation version)
Luxembourg, 6 January 1998
PE 166 499
Directorate General for Research

Cataloguing data:
Title: An appraisal of technologies for political control
Publisher: European Parliament
Directorate General for Research
Directorate B
The STOA Programme
Author: Mr. Steve Wright – Omega Foundation – Manchester
Editor: Mr. Dick Holdsworth
Head of STOA Unit
Date: 6 January 1998
PE Number: PE 166 499
This document is a working document. The current version is
being circulated for consultation. It is not an official publication of STOA
or of the European Parliament.
This document does not necessarily represent the views of the
European Parliament.



The objectives of this report are fourfold: (i) to provide Members of the
European Parliament with a guide to recent advances in the technology of
political control; (ii) to identify, analyse and describe the current state
of the art of the most salient developments; (iii) to present members with
an account of current trends, both in Europe and Worldwide; and (iv) to develop
policy recommendations covering regulatory strategies for their management
and future control.

The report contains seven substantive sections which cover respectively:

(i) The role and function of the technology of political control;

(ii) Recent trends and innovations (including the implications of globalisation,
militarisation of police equipment, convergence of control systems deployed
worldwide and the implications of increasing technology and decision drift);

(iii) Developments in surveillance technology (including the emergence of
new forms of local, national and international communications interceptions
networks and the creation of human recognition and tracking devices);

(iv) Innovations in crowd control weapons (including the evolution of a 2nd.
generation of so called ‘less-lethal weapons’ from nuclear labs in the USA).

(v) The emergence of prisoner control as a privatised industry, whilst state
prisons face increasing pressure to substitute technology for staff in cost
cutting exercises and the social and political implications of replacing
policies of rehabilitation with strategies of human warehousing.

(v) The use of science and technology to devise new efficient mark-free
interrogation and torture technologies and their proliferation from the US
& Europe.

(vi) The implications of vertical and horizontal proliferation of this technology
and the need for an adequate political response by the EU, to ensure it neither
threatens civil liberties in Europe, nor reaches the hands of tyrants.

The report makes a series of policy recommendations including the need for
appropriate codes of practice. It ends by proposing specific areas where
further research is needed to make such regulatory controls effective. The
report includes a comprehensive bibliographical survey of some of the most
relevant literature.



The objectives of this report are fourfold: (i) to provide Members of the
European Parliament with a guide to recent advances in the technology of
political control; (ii) to identify. analyze and describe the current state
of the art of the most salient developments; (iii) to present members with
an account of current trends, both in Europe and Worldwide; and (iv) to develop
policy recommendations covering regulatory strategies for their management
and future control. The report includes a large selection of illustrations
to provide Members of Parliament with a good idea of the scope of current
technology together with a representative flavour of what lies on the horizon.
The report contains seven substantive sections, which can be summarised as


This section takes into account the multi-functionality of much of this
technology and its role in yielding an extension of the scope, efficiency
and growth of policing power. It identifies the continuum of control which
stretches from modem law enforcement to advanced state suppression, the
difference being the level of democratic accountability in the manner in
which such technologies are applied.


Taking into account the problems of regulation and control and the potential
possessed by some of these technologies to undermine international human
rights legislation, the section examines recent trends and innovations. This
section covers the trend towards militarisation of the police technologies
and the paramilitarisation of military technologies with an overall technological
and decision drift towards worldwide convergence of nearly all the technologies
of political control. Specific advances in area denial, identity recognition,
surveillance systems based on neural networks, discreet order vehicles, new
arrest and restraint methods and the emergence of so called ‘less lethal
weapons’ are presented. The section also looks at a darker side of technological
development including the rise of more powerful restraint, torture, killing
and execution technologies and the role of privatised enterprises in promoting

The EU is recommended to: (i) develop appropriate structures of accountability
to prevent undesirable innovations emerging via processes of technological
creep or decision drift; (ii) ensure that the process of adopting new systems
for use in internal social and political control is transparent, open to
appropriate political scrutiny and subject to democratic change should unwanted
or unanticipated consequences emerge; (iii) prohibit, or subject to stringent
and democratic controls, any class of technology which has been shown in
the past to be excessively injurious, cruel, inhumane or indiscriminate in
its effects.


This section addresses the rapid and virtually unchecked proliferation of
surveillance devices and capacity amongst both the private and public sectors.
It discusses recent innovations which allow bugging, telephone monitoring,
visual surveillance during night or day over large distances and the emergence
of new forms of local, national and international communications interceptions
networks and the creation of human recognition and tracking devices.

The EU is recommended to subject all surveillance technologies, operations
and practices to: (i) procedures ensuring democratic accountability; (ii)
proper codes of practice consistent with Data protection legislation to prevent
malpractice or abuse; (iii) agreed criteria on what constitutes legitimate
surveillance targets, and what does not, and how such surveillance data is
stored, processed and shared. These controls should be more effectively targeted
at malpractice or illegal tapping by private companies and regulation further
tightened to include additional safeguards against abuse as well as appropriate
financial redress.

The report discusses a massive telecommunications interceptions network operating
within Europe and targeting the telephone, fax and email messages of private
citizens, politicians, trade unionists and companies alike. This global
surveillance machinery (which is partially controlled by foreign intelligence
agencies from outside of Europe) has never been subject to proper parliamentary
discussion on its role and function, or the need for limits to be put on
the scope and extent of its activities. This section suggests that that time
has now arrived and proposes a series of measures to initiate this process
of reclaiming democratic accountability over such systems. It is suggested
that all telephone interceptions by Member States should be subject to consistent
criteria and procedures of public accountability and codes of practice. These
should equally apply to devices which automatically create profiles of telephone
calls and pattern analysis and require similar legal requirements to those
applied for telephone or fax interception.

It is suggested that the rapid proliferation of CCTV systems in many Member
States should be subject to a common and consistent set of codes of practice
to ensure that such systems are used for the purpose for which they were
authorised, that there is an effective assessment and audit of their use
annually and an adequate complaints system is in place to deal with any
grievances by ordinary people. The report recommends that such codes of practice
anticipate technical change including the digital revolution which is currently
in process, and ensure that each and every such advance is subject to a formal
assessment of both the expected as well as the possible unforeseen implications.


This section addresses the evolution of new crowd control weapons, their
legitimation, biomedical and political effects. It examines the specific
introduction of new chemical, kinetic and electrical weapons, the level of
accountability in the decision making and the political use of such technologies
to disguise the level of violence being deployed by state security forces.
The research used to justify the introduction of such technologies as safe
is reanalysed and found to be wanting. Areas covered in more depth include
CS and OC gas sprays, rubber and plastic bullets, multi-purpose riot tanks,
and the facility of such technologies to exact punishment, with the possibility
that they may also bring about anti-state retaliatory aggression which can
further destabilise political conflict.

This section briefly analyses recent innovations in crowd control weapons
(including the evolution of a 2nd. generation of so called ‘less-lethal weapons’
from nuclear labs in the USA) and concludes that they are dubious weapons
based on dubious and secret research. The Commission should be requested
to report to Parliament on the existence of formal liaison arrangements between
the EU and the USA to introduce such weapons for use in streets and prisons
here. The EU is also recommended to (i) establish objective common criteria
for assessing the biomedical effects of all so called less lethal weapons
and ensure any future authorization is based on independent research; (ii)
ensure that all research used to justify the deployment of any new crowd
control weapon in the EU is published in the open scientific press and subject
to independent scientific scrutiny, before any authorization is given to
deploy. In the meantime the Parliament is asked to reaffirm its current ban
on plastic bullets and that all deployment of devices using peppergas (OC)
be halted until such a time as independent European research on its risks
has been undertaken and published.


This section reports on the emergence of prisoner control as a privatised
industry, whilst state prisons face increasing pressure to substitute technology
for staff in cost cutting exercises. It expresses concern about the social
and political implications of replacing policies of rehabilitation with
strategies of human warehousing and recommends common criteria for licensing
all public and private prisons within the EU. At minimum this should cover
operators responsibilities and prisoners rights in regard to rehabilitation
requirements; UN Minimum Treatment of Prisoners rules banning the use of
leg irons; the regulation and use of psychotropic drugs to control prisoners;
the use of riot control, prisoner transport, restraint and extraction
technologies. The report recommends a ban on (i) all automatic, mass.
indiscriminate prisoner punishment technologies using less lethal instruments
such as chemical

irritant or baton rounds; (ii) kill fencing and lethal area denial systems;
and (iii) all use of electro-shock, stun and electric restraint technology
until and unless independent medical evidence can prove that it safe and
will not contribute to either deaths in custody or inhumane treatment, torture
or other cruel and unusual punishments.


This section discusses the use of science and technology to devise new efficient
mark-free interrogation and torture technologies and their proliferation
from the US & Europe. Of particular concern is the use and abuse of
electroshock devices and their proliferation. It is recommended that the
commercial sale of both training in counter terror operations and any equipment
which might be used in torture and execution, should be controlled by the
criteria and measures outlined in the next section.


The implications for civil liberties and human rights of both the vertical
and horizontal proliferation of this technology are literally awesome. There
is a pressing need for an adequate political response by the EU, to ensure
it neither threatens civil liberties in Europe, nor reaches the hands of
tyrants. The European Council agreed in Luxembourg in 1991 and in Lisbon
in 1992 a set of eight Common Criteria for Arms Exports which set out conditions
which should govern all decisions relating to the issue of licences for the
export of arms and ammunition, one condition of which was “the respect of
human rights in the country of final destination.” Other conditions also
relate to the overall protection of human rights. However these eight criteria
are not binding on member states and there is no common interpretation on
how they should be most effectively implemented. However, a code of conduct
to achieve such an agreement was drawn up and endorsed by over 1000
Non-Governmental Organizations based in the European Union.

Whilst it is recognised that it is not the role of existing EU institutions
to implement such measures as vetting and issuing of export licences, which
are undertaken by national agencies of the EU Member States, it has been
suggested by Amnesty International that the joint action procedure which
was used to establish EU regulations on Export of Dual use equipment could
be used to take such a code of practice further.

Amnesty suggest that the EU Member States should use the Joint Action procedures
to draw up common lists of (i) proscribed military, security and police equipment
and technology, the sole or primary use of which is to contribute to human
rights violations; (ii) sensitive types of military, security or police equipment
and technology which has been shown in practice to be used for human rights
violations; and (iii) military, security and police units and forces which
have been sufficiently responsible for human rights violations and to whom
sensitive goods and services should not be provided. The report makes
recommendations to help facilitate this objective of denying repressive regimes
access to advanced repression technologies made or supplied from Europe.


The report concludes by proposing a series of areas where new research is
required including: (i) advanced area denial and less-lethal weapon systems;
(ii) human identity recognition and tracking technologies; (iii) the deployment
of ‘dum-dum’ ammunition within the EU; (iv) the constitutional issues raised
by the U.S. National Security Agency’s access and facility to intercept all
European telecommunications; (v) the social and political implications of
further privatisation of the technologies of political control and (vi) the
extent to which European based companies have been complicit in supplying
equipment used for torture or other human rights violations and what new
independent measures might be instituted to track such transfers.



Executive Summary
Table of Charts and Figures
1 Introduction 1
2 Role and Function of Political Control Technologies 3
3 Recent Trends and Innovations 6
4 Developments in Surveillance Technology 15
5 Innovations in Crowd Control Weapons 22
6 New Prison Control Systems 40
7 Interrogation, Torture Techniques and Technologies 44
8 Regulation of Horizontal Proliferation 53
9 Conclusions 59
10 Notes and References 60
11 Bibliography [Not Available] 73
Appendix 1. Military, Security & Police Fairs. [Not
provided with report]



Whilst sole responsibility for the accuracy and contents of this study rest
with the authors, the Omega Foundation would like to thank the following
individuals and organisations for providing information and assistance to
compile this report:

Professor Jonathan Rosenhead of the London School of Economics, London, U.K;
Simon Davies and David Banisar of the London and Washington branches of Privacy
International; Tony Bunyan & Trevor Hemmings of Statewatch, London; John
Stevenson, House of Commons, London; Julian Perry Robinson of Sussex University;
Detlef Nogala of the University of Hamburg; Heiner Busch Of CILIP, Berlin;
Hilary Kitchin of the Local Government Information Unit, London; The Committee
For The Administration of Justice, Belfast; David Eisenberg, Center For Defense
Information, Washington; Terry Allen of Covert Action Quarterly, Washington;
Brian Wood of the International Secretariat of Amnesty International, London;
Kate O’Malley of Amnesty International U.K. Section London; Human Rights
Watch, Washington; Lora Lumpe and Steven Aftergood of the Federation of American
Scientists, Washington; Brian Martin of the University of Wollongong, Australia;
Cathy Rodgers of RDF Films, London; Martyn Gregory Films, London and Dr.
Ray Downs, Program Manager of Technology Development, U.S. National Institute
for Justice, Washington.

Thanks are due to the Press officers serving the Northern Ireland Office,
the British Army and RUC Information Offices between 1976 – 1982, who provided
the comprehensive statistical data required to perform the quantitative analysis
outlined in section 5.

We would also like to thank David Hoffman for permission to use many of the
black and white images used to illustrate the text.

Table of Charts

Chart Title PageNo.
1 Declining Legitimacy and Repressive State Violence 5
2 The Pattern of Revolution 7
3 The Main Chemical Riot Control Agents 12
4 Comparative Impact Effects of Various ‘Less Lethal’ Kinetic Impact Weapons 13
5 US Human Engineering Laboratory Technology Assessment of Various ‘Less
Lethal’ Kinetic Weapons
6 Trends in Riot Weapon Use in Northern Ireland from 1969-1986 27
7 Impact of Introduction of New Riot Weapons on the Level of Political
Killings in Northern Ireland
8 Structure of Riot Weapon Use 29
9 Multi Variant Time Series Analysis of Northern Irish Conflict 1976-1981 30
10 Biderman’s Chart of Coercion 48
11 Pre-Interrogation Treatment Used on Detainees 49
12 Techniques used by the British Army in Northern Ireland to Mimic Sensory
13 Police Torture Exports Licensed by the US Commerce Department 1991-1993 56

Table of Figures

[JYA Note: Figures were not provided with the report]

Section 3. Recent Trends and Innovations

1 Public Order – Tactical Options

2 Convergence of Police and Military Systems

3 Interception – Punishment

4 Cochrane Area Denial

5 Fingerprint Recognition Systems

6 Night Vision. From Vietnam to Belfast

7 Discreet Order Vehicles

8 New Arrest & Restraint Methods

9 Convergence and Riot Technology

10 Insect Like Images of Riot Police

11 US Pepper gas Adverts

12 ‘Dum Dum’ ammunition and effects

13 Wound effects of expanding ammunition

14 Frag 12. Pre-fragmented exploding ammunition

15 Typical forms of execution technology

16 Targetted Execution Technology

17 Special Force Killing

Section 4. Developments in Surveillance Technology

18 Parabolic Microphone

19 JAI Stroboscopic Cameras

20 Automated Vehicle Recognition Systems

21 US Made cameras in Tiananmen Square

22 CCTV in Tibet

23 Video Capture/Video Fit

24 Taps and Bugs

25 US/UK NSA European Communication Interception Network

Section 5. Innovations in Crowd Control Weapons

26 The Philosophy of Crowd Control Weapons

27 Israeli and Chinese Riot Weapons

28 Chemical Spray Backpack & Effects

Table of Figures (contd.)

Section 5. Contd.

29 Crowd Dispersion and Capture

30 French patients suffering severe burns from CS sprays

31 Capstun OC & Manufacture

32 British and German riot guns used in Northern Ireland

33 Injector Weapons

34 2nd Generation Less Lethal Weapons

35 Sticky Foam

36 Laser weapon systems

Section 6. New Prison Control Systems

37 Prison Control Technology

Section 7. Interrogation, Torture Techniques and Technology

38 Redress Trust Map of Torture States

39 Restraining Technology. Hiatt Leg Irons. Chinese Thumb Cuffs

40 British and Chinese Thumb Cuffs & Leg Irons

41 House of Fun

42 Hand Held Electro-shock Weapon

43 Electronic Shield

44 Taser Gun and Dart H

45 Tibetan Monk Palden Gyatso

46 Torture Techniques use in Uruguay

47 Chilean Torture Technique 1

48 Chilean Torture Technique 2

49 US Counter Insurgency Training at the School of the Americas

50 Chinese Electro-shock manufacture and quality control

51 Electro-shock weapons on display at Chinese Security Fairs

Table of Figures (contd.)

Section 8. Regulation of Horizontal Proliferation

52 Arwen Riot Control Weapon on display at COPEX

53 Electro-shock weapons offered at European Security Fairs

54 Supplying the security needs of authoritarian regimes in Latin America

55 Ispra Gas Riot Packs

56 SAE Alsetex Back Pack + on display at IDEF Military Exhibition in Turkey,

57 Foreign Internal Security Equipment on display at IDEF 1995 (Turkey)




The purpose of this report is to explore the most recent developments in
the technology of political control and the major consequences associated
with their integration into processes and strategies of policing and internal
control. A brief look at the historical development of this concept is

Twenty five years ago, the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science
warned that a new technology of repression was being spawned in an effort
to contain the conflict in Northern Ireland. (B.S.S.R.S., 1972). In 1977,
members of BSSRS took this concept further in a seminal work, the Technology
of Political Control (Ackroyd et. al., 1977). BSSRS analysed the role and
function of this technology in terms of a new apparatus largely created as
a result of research and development undertaken as part of Britain’s colonial
wars, (most recently in the ongoing Northern Ireland conflict), and whose
main purpose was quelling internal dissent. According to critical U.S. NGO
research organisations of that period such as NARMIC & NACLA, work on
this technology of political control was further enhanced by technical
developments achieved by the United States’ military industrial complex,
largely as a result of the extended global military interests of the U.S.,
and its deployment of highly technocratic counter-insurgency doctrines,
particularly during the.Vietnam War.1

Up until that period, shrewd commentators on technology and society such
as Haabermas Ellul (1964) recognised the potential risk of a specific loss
of traditional freedoms and civil liberties associated with broad technological
advances in the future, such as surveillance. However, BSSRS was the first
group of scientists and technologists to identify and characterise a whole
class of technology whose principal designated function was to achieve social
and political control.

In Ackroyd et. al (1977), BSSRS. defined the technology of political control
as “a new type of weaponry.” “It is the product of the application of science
and technology to the problem of neutralising the state’s internal enemies.
It is mainly directed at civilian populations, and is not intended to kill
(and only rarely does). It is aimed as much at hearts and minds as at bodies.”
For BSSRS, “This new weaponry ranges from means of monitoring internal dissent
to devices for controlling demonstrations; from new techniques of interrogation
to methods of prisoner control. The intended and actual effects of these
new technological aids are both broader and more complex than the more lethal
weaponry they complement.”

The concept of technology has many and varied interpretations. As emphasised
in the interim report (Omega 1996), the definition adopted for the purposes
of this work encompasses not just the ‘hardware’ – the tools, instruments,
machines, appliances, weapons and gadgets (i.e. the apparatus of technical
performance); but also the associated standard operating procedures, routines,
skills, techniques (the software); and the related forms of rationalised
human social organisations, arrangements, systems and networks (the liveware)
of any programme of political control.2 In other
words, it is insufficient to describe developments in a purely technical
sense, it is also necessary to consider these technologies as social and
political factors.3


When first published in 1977, ‘The Technology of Political Control’ anticipated
that the deployment of these technologies in Northern Ireland, which acted
as a laboratory for their future development, would spread to mainland Britain.
For BSSRS, governments would no longer reach for the machine gun when threatened
at home. It will have plastic bullets which kill only occasionally, depth
interrogation which tortures without leaving physical scars. It uses electronics
for telephone tapping and night surveillance; computers to build files on
actual or potential dissidents. NARMIC also warned that this technology was
not just reserved for low intensity conflicts overseas but would return to
be used to quell dissent on the homefront.(NARMlC, 1971) Little by little
this has happened.

There have been quite awesome changes in the technologies available to states
for internal control since the first BSSRS publication, a quarter of a century
ago. So many new technologies have been created that specialist publications
have emerged to service the burgeoning
market.4 In the limited space available here,
it is not possible to describe all the many new technologies which have been
developed. However, a broad selection of illustrations have been incorporated
(at the end of the report), to give MEPs a good idea of the scope of the
current technology and a representative flavour of what lies on the horizon.
An extensive bibliography has been provided for those Members of the European
Parliament wishing to explore specific areas and implications in more

For the purposes of this report and its focus on appraising subsequent
developments in the technology of political control, it is worth focussing
on the same areas of Technology covered by BSSRS, which have not already
been the subject of recent STOA reports. Whilst the need to examine the critical
role of Northern Ireland in the evolution of some of these technologies makes
the overall assessment somewhat anglo-centric, every effort has been made
to show evidence of the proliferation and impact of this technology in other
European countries and worldwide by naming the actual companies and corporations
involved in both manufacture and supply.

Taking into account the multi-functionality of much of this technology, Section
2. of this report explores its role and function and the continuum of control
which stretches from modern law enforcement to advanced state suppression.
With specific reference to problems of regulation and control and the potential
some of these technologies present for undermining international human rights
legislation, Section 3. provides a analysis of recent trends and innovations.
Section 4. explores current developments In surveillance technology, from
bugs and wiretapping to new global systems of mass supervision and
telecommunications surveillance already approved by the European Union. Section
5. discusses the political and biomedical implications of innovations in
crowd control weapons including the prospect of a 2nd. generation of paralysing
and disabling technologies currently being developed by former US nuclear
weapons laboratories, together with the secret arrangements to incorporate
such technologies into EU policing practices and export markets. Section
6. is devoted to the emergence of new prison control systems and the prospects
of privatised multinational prison corporations transforming crime control
into industry. Section 7. presents evidence of Research & Development
devoted to the creation of new interrogation, torture techniques &
technologies which leave few marks and the growing role of EU member states
and their allies in creating export markets for supplying this equipment
to tyrannical states.

The report ends with an examination of the whole question of future regulation
of the vertical & horizontal proliferation of this dual use technology,
in the face of relatively weak


democratic controls on its manufacture, deployment and export. Some of these
technologies are highly sensitive politically and without proper regulation
can threaten or undermine many of the human rights enshrined in international
law, such as the rights of assembly, privacy, due process, freedom of political
and cultural expression and protection from torture, arbitrary arrest, cruel
and inhumane punishments and extra-judicial execution. Proper oversight of
developments in political control technologies is further complicated by
the phenomena of ‘bureaucratic capture’ where senior officials control their
ministers rather than the other way round Politicians both at European and
sovereign state level, whom citizens of the community have presumed will
be monitoring any excesses or abuse of this technology on their behalf, are
sometimes systematically denied the information they require to do that job.
Therefore possible areas of policy change are presented at the end of each
section, which could bring much of this technology back within the reach
of democratic control and accountability, as well as suggesting some further
areas of future research.


Throughout the Nineties, many governments have spent huge sums on the research,
development, procurement and deployment of new technology for their police,
para-military and internal security forces.6
The objective of this development work has been to increase and enhance each
agency’s policing capacities. A dominant assumption behind this technocratisation
of the policing process, is the belief that it has created both a faster
policing response time and a greater cost-effectiveness. The main aim of
all this effort has been to save policing resources by either automating
certain control, amplifying the rate of particular activities, or decreasing
the number of officers required to perform

The resultant innovations in the technology of political control have been
functionally designed to yield an extension of the scope, efficiency and
growth of policing power. The extent to which this process can be judged
to be a legitimate one depends both on one’s point of view and the level
of secrecy and accountability built into the overall procurement and deployment
procedures. There are essentially two opposing schools of thought.

The first school of thought identifies developments in policing technology
with efficiency, cost-effectiveness and modernisation. This school believes
that the police and internal security agencies require the most up to date
forms of equipment to fight crime, mob-rule and terrorism. Sophisticated
law enforcement is viewed as value free and state security agencies are
considered to be in the best position to determine their operational
requirements. (See Applegate 1969), New technologies aid the police by ensuring
that messages are rapidly received and dealt with, personnel are freed for
other duties and overall efficiency is enhanced. Only those with something
to hide need fear the enlarged data gathering capacities of police computers.
Modern riot technology is presented as a much preferred non-lethal alternative
to the use of guns and the police should always be allowed to use ‘minimum
force when dealing with actual or potential law breakers. Existing controls
and regulations governing the use of this technology are considered by adherents
of this school to have been adequately designed to ensure that no misuse
takes place. Advanced police technology is therefore understood in this context
as an invaluable aid to upholding the freedoms cherished as inalienable rights
by citizens living in Western Liberal democracies. Its export to other countries
sharing the same economic and ideological views, is viewed as an opportunity
to help modernise law enforcement and buttress mutual stability, law and


The opposing school of thought on the other hand views police technology
and the associated ‘policing revolution’ quite differently (See Manwaring-White,
1983). They believe that innovations in political control technology has
put powerful new tools at the disposal of states in need of technical fixes
for their most pressing and intractable social and political problems. It
is at the point where authority fails that repression begins (Hoefnagels,
1977) and at that point an illegitimate government will use more force just
to keep the lid on.(See Chart.1a.) As the crisis deepens, further force is
required and the role of technology in such a situation is to act as a force
amplifier. Once the shaded area is reached (Chart.1b), terror becomes the
only government service.

New police technologies are perceived to be one of the most important factors
in attempting sub-state conflict control. Such ‘control’ is viewed as more
apparent than real, but serves the purpose of disguising the level of coercive
repression being applied. This school of thought argues that once operationally
deployed, these technologies exert a profound effect on the character of
policing. Whether these changes are symptom or cause of the ensuing change
in policing organisations, a major premise of this school of thought is that
a range of unforeseen impacts are associated with the process of integrating
these technologies into a society’s social, political and cultural control

The full implications of such developments may take time to assess but they
are often more important and far reaching than the first order intended effects.
It is argued that one impact of this process is the militarisation of the
police and the para-militarisation of the army as their roles, equipment
and procedures begin to overlap. This phenomena is seen as having far reaching
consequences on the way that future episodes of sub-state violence is handled,
and influencing whether those involved are reconciled, managed, repressed,
‘lost’ or efficiently destroyed. Police telematics and their use of databanks
(the subject of an earlier STOA report in this area) for example, facilitate
prophylactic or pre-emptive policing as ‘data-veillance’ is harnessed to
target certain strata or classes of people rather than resolve individual
crimes. (E.g. the proposed introduction of the Eurodac system which will
utilise biometric information to control and restrict the entry of all Asylum
seekers into Europe, building in the process a new technopolitics of
exclusion).8 New surveillance technology can
exert a powerful ‘chill effect’ on those who might wish to take a dissenting
view and few will risk exercising their right to democratic protest if the
cost is punitive riot policing with equipment which may lead to permanent
injury or loss of life. As highlighted in the interim report, the human response
to the deployment of such technologies may be counter-intuitive and render
progressive, deployments of newer more powerful systems either obsolete or
dysfunctional. This possibility is discussed in greater detail below.

Any evaluation of these opposing schools of thought needs to identify common
ground since few would doubt that there are fundamental changes taking place
in the types of tactics techniques and technologies available to internal
security agencies for policing purposes. Yet many questions remain unanswered,
unconsidered or under-researched. Why for example did such a transformation
in the technology used for socio-political control dramatically change over
the last twenty five years? Is there any significance in the fact that former
communist regimes in the Warsaw Treaty Organisation and continuing centralised
economic systems such as China, are beginning to adopt such technologies?
What are the reasons behind a global convergence of the technology of political
control deployed in the North and South, the East and West? What are the
factors responsible for generating the adoption of such new policing technology
– was it technology push or demand pull? What new tools for


Chart 1. Declining Legitimacy & Repressive State Violence


policing lie on the horizon and what are the dynamics behind the process
of innovation and the need for a vast arsenal of different kinds of technology
rather than just a few? Are the many ways this technology affects the policing
process fully understood? Who controls the patterns of police technology
procurement and what are the corporate influences?

In deciding between these schools of thought, we need to determine the extent
to which future innovation is about the maintenance of existing power
relationships, rather than citizen protection In other words, the extent
to which their deployment ensures that only certain permitted ways of behaving
are allowed to continue without interference. Since this technology provides
a continuum of flexible responses or options, perhaps the overriding factor
is the extent to which its development and deployment is subject to democratic
control. Is the process of regulation democratically accountable or are there
more hidden processes at work? Do these technologies proliferate, if so why
and how and what are the most important mechanisms or processes involved?

Since all this technology represents an unequal distribution of coercive
power, it is important for Members of the European Parliament to be satisfied
that sufficient democratic control is exercised to ensure that such powers
are not abused and that unwanted technological and decision drift is adequately
checked. Whilst the Interim Report (Omega, 1996) provided a brief analysis
of the role and function of specific classes of political control technology,
what follows is an analysis of the state of the art in certain key areas
of this technology which the authors believe warrant further scrutiny.


Since the ‘Technology of Political Control’ was first written (Ackroyd et
al.,1977) there has been a profusion of technological innovations for police,
paramilitary, intelligence and internal security forces. Many of these are
simple advances on the technologies available in the 1970’s. Others such
as automatic telephone tapping, voice recognition and electronic tagging
were not envisaged by the original BSSRS authors since they did not think
that the computing power needed for a national monitoring system was feasible.
The overall drift of this technology is to increase the power and reliability
of the policing process, either enhancing the individual power of police
operatives, replacing personnel with less expensive machines to monitor activity
or to automate certain police monitoring, detection and communication facilities
completely. A massive Police Industrial Complex has been spawned to service
the needs of police, paramilitary and security forces, evidenced by the number
of companies now active in the market.9 An overall
trend is towards globalisation of these technologies and a drift to increasing
proliferation, without much regard to local conditions.

One core trend has been towards a militarisation of the police and a
paramilitarisation of military forces in Europe. Often this begins via special
units involved in crisis policing, such as the Special Weapons and Tactics
Squads such as the Grenz Schutz Gruppe in Germany; the Gendarmeries National
in France; the Carabinieri in Italy; and the Special Patrol Group in the
UK or the federal police paramilitary teams in the United States (FBI, DEA
& BATF) that adopt the same weaponry as their military counterparts.
Then a growing percentage of ordinary police are trained in public order
duties and tactics which incorporate some element of firearms training. The
tactical training is often a mirror image of the low intensity
counter-revolutionary warfare tactics adopted by the military (See Chart
2). In Britain, where 10% of police on a revolving basis train according
to a military style manual,


Insurgent Phases

Sequence of Insurgent Action

Counter Action

Communist Concept(Based on Sino-Japanese War 1937) BritishInterpretation

With Aim of Achieving Revolution

By security force

‘Passive'[Organizational] ||||








Preparatory Activity by anti-government organisations, including political agitation
and manoevering propaganda activities. Formation of cells & cadres,
(political, intelligence and military), and civil and industrial unrest.
Infiltration into positions of authority. In general covert preparations
by those whose aim is to achieve a revolution. Any overt military preparations
take place in the remotest areas.
1. Civil &LawEnforcementActivity

[Terrorism]Civil disobedience, disturbances, riots, strikes, lawlessness. Sabotage,
particularly against communications. Assassinations, coercion and terrorism
on a limited scale. Use of propaganda & psychological means to discredit
the government.

Ambushes and minor insurgent activity on a limited scale. Increased terrorism,
a climate of dissidence, civil and industrial disobedience is engendered.2.Internal
















Warfare]Operations involving the use of guerrilla tactics by local formed units
have resulted in the guerillas gaining control over parts of the country.
Insurgent bases are established in relatively safe areas. Increased activity
in daylight. More ambitious operations by formed units with some perhaps
from a neighbouring country.

A whole series of operations ranging up to actions between formed units with
a simultaneous situation of widespread guerrilla activity. Areas dominated
by guerrillas may be enlarged and declared liberated.3.Counter












|Open OffensiveAs above but having escalated to include regular land and perhaps sea
and air forces of the opposing sides. The revolutionary movement now assumes
the form of a peoples war against the government. Large areas dominated by
the guerrillas.4.Almost




of Limited


OffensiveDecisionNegotiations leading to a cessation of hostilities with the revolutionaries
either in a position to achieve their aim without further fighting or with
the legal government back in control.

Chart 2. The Pattern of Revolution


‘Public Order – Tactical Options’ using batons, shields and colonial style
military wedges (See Fig.1[No figures provided with report]) (Northam,
1988). In the US, one study uncovered a pattern of former and reserve soldiers
being intimately involved in police operations with almost 46% of trainees
drawing expertise from “police officers with special operations in the military.”
(Krasker & Kapella, 1997).

In some European countries, that trend is reversed, e.g. Last year, the Swiss
government (Federal Council and the Military Department) made plans to re-equip
the Swiss Army Ordungsdienst with 118 million Swiss Francs of less-lethal
weapons for action within the country in times of crisis. (These include
12 tanks, armoured vehicles, tear gas, rubber shot and handcuffs). The decision
was made by decree preventing any discussion or intervention. Their role
will be to help police large scale demonstrations or riots and to police
frontiers to ‘prevent streams of refugees coming into
Switzerland’.10 A disturbing case of police
deploying riot weapons against a peaceful festival occurred last year in
Zurich on 1 May, using water cannon laced with CN irritant and rubber bullets
below the advised 20 metres threshold, shows the process of convergence

Convergence is the process whereby the technology used by police and the
military for internal security operations converges towards being more or
less indistinguishable. The term also describes the trend towards a universal
adoption of similar types of technologies by most states for internal security
and policing. Security companies now produce weapons and communications systems
for both military and the police.(Fig.2). Such systems increasingly represent
the muscle and the nervous system of public order squads. For example, according
to BSSRS(1985), GCHQ’s telephone interception network was used to track UK
miners during the 1984-5 strike, so that when miner’s cars were stopped,
police knew who they were and punishment or dissuasion could be targeted
appropriately.(See Fig.3)

3.1 Area Denial replaces personnel guarding either areas or perimeters.
It has involved deploying technology which can either create punishment when
its limits are infringed or systems with built in intelligence which can
both locate the point of infringement and activate a corrective
response.12 Sophisticated varieties incorporate
punishment mechanisms which vary from pain induced by electroshock to kill
fences and fragmentation mines. Many European companies make electrified
razor coil stun fences e.g. Bollore, Cogny & Santerne in France; Birmingham
Barbed Tape, Gallagher and Armbell, in UK; Reinaet Electronics in the
Netherlands. Many South African companies remain in the market from the ‘snake
of fire’ days, e.g., Edair; Grinaker;
Microfence.13 Nowadays, the South African Government
has introduced new regulations on the maximum voltage for stun fences and
new criteria for not mixing barbed wire and stun capacities – if snagged
a victim can’t be repelled and continues receiving current. Europe needs
to adopt best practice in this regard. It would also be useful if existing
research justifying company claims for sub-lethality of stun fences should
be made public. These systems are not cattle fences and the same criteria
cannot be used.

Neural networks with semi-intelligence are being introduced to protect sensitive
control zones. Systems produced by companies, such as Productivity Systems
in France and Cambridge Neurodynamics in the UK, can allow pattern recognition
and an ability to learn. Neural systems will play an increasing role in sentinel
duties as robot technology improves Already prototypes known as insectoids
are being evolved to cheaply replace personnel on routine guard duties that
require 24 hours cover and can be programmed to track the fence and carry
either lethal or sub-lethal weapons (Knoth, 1994).


The Non-lethal Warfare programmes discussed in 5.6 below are also exploring
area denial technology. For example, Defense Week reported (19/11/96)
that Alliant Tech Systems (USA) is working on alternatives to anti-personnel
land mines. One of these is a wire barrier system dispersed by the Volcano
Mine System. The company received a 10 month contract in early August [1996]
from the Army Armament, Research, Development and Engineering Center at Picatinny
Arsenal, New Jersey. The company is still to decide what kind of wire to
use for the canister-launched area-denial weapon system, but the general
idea is that the Volcano system will shoot out thin wire with something like
fish hooks along it in enough mass to cover a soccer-field sized area. “It’s
intended to snag. It’s not going to kill you” said marketing manager Tom

3.2 Surveillance Technologies are one of the fastest growing areas
of the technology of political control and a key problem is how to deal with
the torrent of information it yields The term covers a vast range of products
and devices but the overall trend is towards miniaturization, more precise
resolution through the adoption of digital technology and increasing automation
so that the technology can be more effectively targeted. The technology also
parallels political shifts in targeting so that instead of investigating
crime, a reactive activity, the fastest growing trend is towards tracking
certain strata, social classes and races of people living in red-lined areas
before any crime is committed. Such a form of proactive policing is based
on military models of gathering huge amounts of low grade intelligence. With
new systems such as Memex, it is possible to quickly build up a comprehensive
picture of virtually anyone by gaining electronic access to all their records,
cash transactions, cars held, etc. Such pre-emptive policing means the majority
are ignored and policing resources are more tightly focused on certain groups.
Such powerful forms of artificial intelligence need continuous assessment.
They have an important role to play in tracking criminals. The danger is
that their infrastructure is essentially a massive machinery of supervision
that can be retargeted fairly quickly should the political context change.

Automatic fingerprint readers are now common place, and many European
companies make them14 (see Fig 5). But any unique
attribute of anatomy or personal style can be used to create a human identity
recognition system
. For example Cellmark Diagnostics(UK) can recognise
; Mastiff Security Systems(UK) can recognise odour, Hagen
Cy-Com(UK) and Eyedentify Inc.(USA) can recognise the pattern of capillaries
at the back of the retina; whilst AEA Technology (UK) are capable of
signature verification. Over 109 companies in Europe are known to
be supplying such biometric systems. DNA fingerprinting is
now a reality and Britain has set up the first DNA databank, and is already
carrying out mass dawn raids of over 1000 people at targeted
suspects.15 Plans are being drawn up by at least
one political party to DNA profile the nation from
birth.16 The leading edge companies are racing
towards developing face recognition systems which they see as being
able to revolutionise crime customs and intruder detection as well as service
access control. Whilst fully reliable systems are perhaps five years off,
prototype systems have been developed in
Germany18 the
UK19 and the

Night vision technology developed as a result of the Vietnam war has
now been adapted for police usage (See Fig.6). Particularly successful are
heli-tele surveillance versions which allow cameras to track human
heat signatures in total darkness. The art of bugging has been made
significantly easier by a rapidly advancing technology and there is a burgeoning
European market.21 Many systems described in
Section 4 (below), do not even require physical entry into the home or office.
For those who can secure access to their target room,


there is a plethora of devices, many pre-packaged to fit into phones, look
like cigarette packets or light fittings and some, like the ever popular
PK 805 and PK 250, that can be tuned into from a suitable radio. However,
the next generation of covert audio bugs are remotely operated, for example
the multi-room monitoring system of Lorraine Electronics called DIAL (Direct
Intelligent Access Listening) allows an operator to monitor several rooms
from anywhere in the world without effecting an illegal entry. Up to four
concealed microphones are connected to the subscribers line and these can
be remotely activated by simply making a coded telephone call to the target
building. Neural network bugs go one step further. Built like a small
cockroach, as soon as the lights go out they can crawl to the best location
for surveillance.22 In fact Japanese researchers
have taken this idea one step further, controlling and manipulating real
cockroaches by implanting microprocessors and electrodes in their bodies.
The insects can be fitted with micro cameras and sensors to reach the places
other bugs can’t reach.23 Passive Millimeter
Wave Imaging
developed by the US Millitech corporation can scan people
from up to 12 feet away and see through clothing to detect concealed items
such as weapons, packages and other contraband. Variations of this
through-clothing human screening under development (by companies such as
the US Raytheon Co.), include systems which illuminate an individual with
a low-intensity electromagnetic pulse. A three side very-low X ray system
for human useage, in fixed sites such as prisons, is being developed by Nicolet
Imaging Systems of San Diego. Electronic monitoring of offenders or
‘tagging’, where the subject wears an electronic bracelet which can
detect if they have relocated from their home after certain hours etc, has
entered into use in the 1990’s after being developed to regulate prison
populations in the USA. (Schmidt, 1988). Satellite tracking of VIPs,
vehicles, etc., is now facilitated by the once military Global-Positioning
System(GPS) which is now available for commercial uses. Vehicle
technologies are discussed in Section 4 below.

3.3 Data-veillance – The use of telematics by the police has
revolutionised policing in the last decade and created the shift towards
pre-emptive policing. It is properly the focus of an earlier STOA report
on the technology of political control. Some of the most recent trends are
discussed in Section 4 below. A comprehensive analysis of how such equipment
has led to widespread abuse of civil liberties and human rights has been
published by Privacy International (1995) and includes 100 pages of all the
companies involved in servicing the security requirements of the regimes
mapped in Fig.38.

Using data profilers, torturing states have used these systems to compile
death lists. For example, the Tadiran computer supplied to Guatemala and
installed in the control center of the national palace. According to a senior
Guatemalan military official, “the complex contains an archive and a computer
file on journalists, students, leaders, people on the left, politicians and
so on.” Meetings were held in the annex to select assassination victims.
A US priest who fled the country after appearing on such a death list said,
“They had printout lists at the border crossings and at the airport. Once
you got on that – then its like bounty
hunters.”24 Within Europe, systems, such as
that produced by Harlequin, allow the automatic production of maps of who
phoned whom to show friendship networks. Other companies such as Memex described
above, allow entire life profiles of virtually anyone in a state having an
official existence. Photographs and video material can be included in the
record and typically up to 700 other databases can be hoovered at any one
time, to extend the data profile in real
time.25 Significant changes in the capacity
of new surveillance systems can be anticipated with the advent of new materials
such as Buckminster Fullerene, which will lead to minaturisation of systems
by several orders of magnitude.26


3.4-Discrete Order Vehicles – Hundreds of companies are now manufacturing
police and internal security vehicles in
Europe.27 The newer companies entering the market
for law enforcement vehicles tend to manufacture for both military and police
purposes (e.g., armoured personnel carriers, patrol, riot control, mobile
prison, perimeter patrol etc.) and configured to have a ‘non-aggressive design’.
In real terms this means that their external appearance rather than their
operational characteristics are modified to give a non-threatening appearance.
Such ‘discreet order vehicles’ look benign – like ambulances, whilst retaining
a retaliatory capacity, capable of dispersing, containing or capturing dissident
groups or individuals.(See Fig.7 Savage, 1985). Some models such as the Amac
vehicle and more recently the Talon incorporate repellant electrified panels
as well as a weapons capacity such as water cannon. Such vehicles are frequently
used to seal people into a dispersal zone where the riot squads are at work,
rather than chase them out.

3.5 Less-lethal Weapons – For reasons explained more fully in Section
5 (below), the essential role of new crowd control weapons and tactics is
to amplify the level of aggression that can be unleashed by an individual
officer. Thus the same rationale lies behind the use of the new US side handle
batons, the use of horse, riot shield charges using riot wedges and snatch
squads and the new martial arts style arrest techniques which entered European
policing training in the mid 1980’s.28 (see
Fig 8). The biggest growth area however, has been in what used to be called
‘non-lethal weapons.’ The fact that some of these weapons kill, blind, scalp
and permanently maim led the authorities and manufacturers to act – they
came up with a new name – “less-lethal weapons” – i.e. they only sometimes
kill. Again a PR objective is catered for in the names which sound as if
the security forces are using relative restraint. Whether it be in Belfast
or Beijing, these technologies are converging around the same design types.
(See Fig 8). One of the authors of the ‘Technology of Political Control’
(Ackroyd, 1977) Professor Jonathan Rosenhead, believed that the emergence
of such technology in China vindicated their original thesis. That is, after
the Tiananmen Square massacre, the Chinese authorities needed weapons options
which would not excite international criticism, particularly when some much
lucrative foreign investment was entering the Tiger economies of the Pacific

As described in Section 5 below, this area has seen prodigious innovation
including a second generation of new weapon types being produced in the former
nuclear weapon laboratories of the US in conjunction with big
business.30 The Council for Science & Society
explained the phenomenon in terms of technological and decision drift (CSS,
1978). BSSRS argued that such processes were integral to any attempt to apply
technical fixes – an alternative explanation is that the riot control arsenal
is never complete. Much of a weapon’s effect lies in creating a sense of
uncertainty.31 Even the insectoid appearance
of riot squad members is part of the threat impact despite its ostensible
purpose of personal protection.(See Fig 10).

Individually these weapons are becoming more powerful, for example each new
riot agent is more powerful than the one it replaces. Thus CS is nearly 20
times more powerful than the CN it replaced; CR is more than 30 times more
powerful than CN and the newest and most aggressively marketed agent OC,
(See Fig.11), the most powerful of them all (Chart 3). Little notice has
been taken of the professional hazard assessments of the most commonly used
kinetic impact weapons deployed in Europe and USA which have consequences
in the ‘dangerous or severe damage region’. (See Chart 4).



Chemical Name and





Point C°




ICt50 (mg min/m3) (1)

// \\_C_CH2CI
\ _ / |
  _   |

CNWhite Solid59Burning sensation in the eyes. Blisters at very heavy concentration.
Salivation, nausea and headaches.1202-Chlorobenzylidene


// \\_CH=C(CN)2
\ _ /
  _ \

CSWhite Solid94Strong lachrymation with involuntary closing of the eyes. Burning sensation
on moist skin, 2nd degree burns. Coughing and vomiting at higher concentrations.53.6Dibenz (b.f.)-1,4-oxazepine

 _  o
/ \/ \/ \
|  |  | ||
\ /\ /\\/

CRPale Yellow

Solid72Very intense skin pain particularly around moist areas. Involuntary closing
of eyes resulting in temporary blindness which may induce panic or hysteria.300.7Oleoresin CapsicumOCColourless65Uncontrollable coughing and gasping for breath. Eyes close immediately.
Loss of body motor control. Intense burning sensation on skin. Leads to immediate
incapacitation.Most powerful

(exact figs

unavailable)N/A(1) ICt50  The mean incapacitating dose. The
dose that will affect 50% of the test population.


Chart 3. The Main Chemical Riot Control Agents


Weapons (2)



Weight of



Impact Energy /

Joules (1)

L5A3 Plastic Bullet Royal Ordinance UK 135g 25-60m 150-210
‘Cross Cartridge’ Heckler and Koch Germany 179g up to 30m above 125
Flash Ball Verney Carron France 28g 12m 200
Jelly Baton CrownAircartridge Netherlands N/A N/A 265
Bean Bag MK Ballistics USA 40g 10-30m 120
‘Cease and Desist’ Milstor Corp USA N/A Less than 18m 130
Impact Energy Severity of Injury
Under 20 Joules Safe/low
Between 40-122 Joules Dangerous
Over 122 Joules Severe damage region
(1) Testing of kinetic energy projectiles was carried out at the Aberdeen
Proving Grounds in the USA in 1975 to assess their safety and the likelihood,
and type, of injuries that might result from their use (see Technical Report
Number 24-75: Evaluation of the Physiological Effects of a Rubber Bullet,
a Baseball and a Flying Baton, Wargovich, et al., US Army Land and Warfare
Laboratory, September 1975.) The results showed that for kinetic energy
projectiles at different energies the level of injury was as shown above.
(J. Rosenhead, New Scientist, 16/12/76, pp. 672-74)

(2) Information taken from manufacturers product data, updated to modern
measurement units where required.

Chart 4. Comparative Impact Effects of Various Kinetic ‘Less Lethal’



3.5 Lethal Weapons – Police Forces in Europe have acquired many of
the weapons normally associated with the military i.e. hand guns, rifles
and submachine guns, e.g., the Heckler & Koch MP5. Shotguns are increasingly
favoured by police forces because their wide spread of shot enables a blast
to hit more than one target and in the US, shotguns are standard issue for
a wide range of tasks including anti-terrorist and riot control. Indeed many
shotguns and holsters specially adapted for police use have appeared on the
market. E.g., those by Ithaca, Mossberg, Remington, Sage International and
Wilson Arms. Many of these are literally sawn off shotguns and their wider
spread increases the number of likely targets. For example, the Witness shotgun
has a barrel of only 12.5 inches. Specialist shotgun ammunition enables some
of these weapons to smash the cylinder block off a car or literally cut a
human in half. The shotgun ‘bolo round’ advert e.g. claims “it slices – it
dices”. Shotgun ammunition leaves no evidence of what weapon was used to
fire it. Similarly caseless cartridges do not leave “a spent cartridge signature”
and this has significant implications for associating a particular weapon
with a specific crime.

In theory, police weapons should have a different level of lethality and
penetration compared with those used by the military. In urban settings there
is always the risk of hitting passers-by and if a round has high velocity
and penetration, it will easily pass through an intended target and continue
penetrating walls and go on perhaps to kill innocents beyond the observed
fire zone. To obviate this problem, manufacturers are increasingly producing
hollow point, expanding, or ‘dum-dum’ ammunition for police and special forces
use.(See Fig 12). Paradoxically, the Hague Declaration (IV,3) of 1989, which
prohibited the use of hollow point or dum dum ammunition, does not apply
to the policing of civil conflicts. Soft nosed ammunition which mushroom
in the body, cause far more serious damage than ordinary ammunition. Dum-dums
would take an arm or a leg off, whereas ordinary ammunition would sail through
leaving a relatively clean hole.(See Fig.13). Some these weapons like
Winchester’s Black Talon or the high explosive filled pre-fragmented Frag
12 (see Fig.14) cause horrific injuries and raise serious questions about
due process and the right to a fair trial since without immediate medical
attention, a target would be effectively an extra-judicial execution. Many
companies are now producing these bullets in Europe.

3.6 Execution technologies – The equipment illustrated in (Fig.16)
are not just museum pieces. In the USA, companies such as Leutcher Associates
Inc of Massachussetts supplies and services American gas chambers, as well
as designing, supplying and installing electric chairs, auto-injection systems
and gallows. The Leutcher lethal injection system costs approx. $30,000 and
is the cheapest system the company sells. Their electrocution systems cost
£35,000 and a gallows would cost approximately $85,000. More and more
states are opting for Leutcher’s $100,000 “execution trailer” which comes
complete with a lethal injection machine, a steel holding cell for an inmate,
and separate areas for witnesses, chaplain, prison workers and medical
personnel.34 Some companies in Europe have in
the past offered to supply such devices as gallows (Michael Huffey Ltd, UK)
or tender designs for the construction of ‘Libyan Rehabilitation centre”
complete with stainless steel execution bays. (Observer, 5/84). A
fuller picture is unavailable, but what is known is that European designers
are tendering for Middle Eastern prison building work with all the attendant
requirements to cater for Islamic shari’a laws and requisite punishments
and amputations. Modern target acquisition aids such as laser sights, coupled
with silenced weapons technology also make extra-judicial execution much
easier (see fig. 16) or if the deed must be achieved in public, systems like
‘syncrofire’ (fig.16) take the guilt away from the execution squad by allowing
the firemaster to achieve it by pushbutton. Special forces are of course
taught how to achieve such executions (See Fig.17 and this is one of the
areas of expertise transfer that needs to be brought back within democratic
control. (see Section 8 below)


(1) Given the civil liberties implications associated with new technologies
of political control, there is a pressing need to avoid the risks of such
technologies developing faster than any regulating legislation. Therefore
the EU should develop appropriate structures of accountability to prevent
undesirable innovations emerging via processes of technological creep or
decision drift.

(2) In principle, the process of innovation of new systems for use in internal
social and political control should be transparent, open to appropriate public
scrutiny and be subject to change should unwanted and unanticipated consequences

(3) Any class of technology which has been shown in the past to be excessively
injurious, cruel, inhumane or indiscriminate in its effects, should be subject
to stringent and democratic controls. Therefore within Europe:-

(a) No development or deployment of blinding laser weapons and ancillary
devices for police and internal security purposes should be permitted;

(b) No deployment of ‘sub-lethal’ area denial mine systems such as the Volcano
(discussed above), should be allowed for law enforcement or correctional

(c) Police personnel should not be routinely armed with ‘dum-dum’ bullets,
use of which is banned in international armed conflicts. Further research
should be commissioned by the European Parliament to clarify the legal situation
particularly in relation to the suggestion that such ammunition can bypass
the legal process and effect extra-judicial execution.

(d) Further measures should be developed to regulate electrified ‘stun’ &
‘kill’ fences. Dual function fences with a kill function should not be
permissable as their use violates the right to life and the right to a fair



Surveillance technology can be defined as devices or systems which can monitor,
track and assess the movements of individuals, their property and other assets.
Much of this technology is used to track the activities of dissidents, human
rights activists, journalists, student leaders, minorities, trade union leaders
and political opponents.

“Subtler and more far reaching means of invading privacy have become available
to the government. Discovery and invention have made it possible for the
government, by means far more effective than stretching upon the rack, to
obtain disclosure in court of what is whispered in the closet.”

So said US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis, way back in 1928. Subsequent
developments go far beyond anything which Brandeis could have dreamt of.
New technologies which were originally conceived for the Defence and Intelligence
sectors, have after the cold war, rapidly spread into the law enforcement
and private sectors. It is one of the areas of technological advance, where
outdated regulations have not kept pace with an accelerating pattern of abuses.
Up until the 1960’s, most surveillance was low-tech and expensive since it
involved following suspects around from place to place and could use up to
6 people in teams of two working 3 eight hour shifts. All of the material
and contacts gleaned had to be typed up and filed away with little prospect
of rapidly cross checking. Even electronic surveillance was highly labour
intensive. The East German police for example employed 500,000 secret informers,
10,000 of which were needed just to listen and transcribe citizen’s phone

By the 1980’s, new forms of electronic surveillance were emerging many of
these were directed towards automation of communications interception. This
trend was fuelled in the U. S. in the 1990’s by accelerated government funding
at the end of the cold war, with defence and intelligence agencies being
refocussed with new missions to justify their budgets, transferring their
technologies to certain law enforcement applications such as anti-drug and
anti-terror operations. In 1993, the US department of defence and the Justice
department signed memoranda of understanding for “Operations Other Than War
and Law Enforcement” to facilitate joint development and sharing of technology.
According to David Banisar of Privacy International, “To counteract reductions
in military contracts which began in the 1980’s, computer and electronics
companies are expanding into new markets – at home and abroad – with equipment
originally developed for the military. Companies such as E Systems, Electronic
Data Systems (founded by Ross Perot ) and Texas Instruments are selling advanced
computer systems and surveillance equipment to state and local governments
that use them for law enforcement, border control and Welfare

According to Banisar, the simple need for increased bureaucratic efficiency
– necessitated by shrinking budgets has been a powerful imperative for improved
identification and monitoring of individuals. “Fingerprints, ID cards, data
matching and other privacy invasive schemes were originally tried on populations
with little political power, such as welfare recipients, immigrants, criminals
and members of the military, and then applied up the socioeconomic ladder.
One in place, the policies are difficult to remove and inevitably expand
into more general use.”37 These technologies
fit roughly into three broad categories. namely surveillance, identification
and networking, and are often used in conjunction as with video cameras and
face recognition or biometrics and ID cards. For Banisar, “They facilitate
mass and routine surveillance of large segments of the population without
the need for warrants and formal investigations. What the East German secret
police could only dream of is rapidly becoming a reality in the free

4.1 Vehicle Recognition Systems

A huge range of surveillance technologies has evolved, including the night
vision goggles discussed in 3 above; parabolic microphones to detect
conversations over a kilometre away(see Fig.18); laser versions marketed
by the German company PK Electronic, can pick up any conversation from a
closed window in line of sight; the Danish Jai stroboscopic camera (Fig.19)
which can take hundreds of pictures in a matter of seconds and individually
photograph all the participants in a demonstration or March; and the automatic
vehicle recognition systems which can identify a car number plate then track
the car around a city using a computerised geographic information system.(Fig.20)
Such systems are now

commercially available, for example, the Talon system introduced in 1994
by UK company Racal at a price of £2000 per unit. The system is trained
to recognise number plates based on neural network technology developed by
Cambridge Neurodynamics, and can see both night and day. Initially it has
been used for traffic monitoring but its function has been adapted in recent
years to cover security surveillance and has been incorporated in the “ring
of steel” around London. The system can then record all the vehicles that
entered or left the cordon on a particular

Such surveillance systems raise significant issues of accountability particularly
when transferred to authoritarian regimes. The cameras in Fig 21 in Tiananmen
Square were sold as advanced traffic control systems by Siemens Plessey.
Yet after the 1989 massacre of students, there followed a witch hunt when
the authorities tortured and interrogated thousands in an effort to ferret
out the subversives. The Scoot surveillance system with USA made Pelco camera
were used to faithfully record the protests. the images were repeatedly broadcast
over Chinese television offering a reward for information, with the result
that nearly all the transgressors were identified. Again democratic
accountability is only the criterion which distinguishes a modern traffic
control system from an advanced dissident capture technology. Foreign companies
are exporting traffic control systems to Lhasa in Tibet, yet Lhasa does not
as yet have any traffic control problems. The problem here may be a culpable
lack of imagination.(Fig.22) Several European countries are manufacturing
vehicle and people tracking technologies, including
Germany41, The
Netherlands42 and the

4.2 CCTV Surveillance Net Works

In fact the art of visual surveillance has dramatically changed over recent
years. of course police and intelligence officers still photograph demonstrations
and individuals of interest but increasingly such images can be stored and
searched. (Fig. 23) The revolution in urban surveillance will reach the next
generation of control once reliable face recognition comes in. It will initially
be introduced at stationary locations, like turnstiles, customs points, security
gateways, etc., to enable a standard full face recognition to take place.
However, in the early part of the 21st. century, facial recognition on CCTV
will be a reality and those countries with CCTV infrastructures will view
such technology as a natural add-on.

It is important to set clear guidelines and codes of practice for such
technological innovations, well in advance of the digital revolution making
new and unforeseen opportunities to collate, analyze, recognise and store
such visual images. Such regulation will need to be founded on sound data
protection principles and take cognizance of article 15 of the 1995 European
Directive on the protection of Individuals and Processing of Personal
Data.44 Essentially this says that:

“Member States shall grant the right of every person not to be subject to
a decision which produces legal effects concerning him or significantly affects
him and which is based solely on the automatic processing of data.”

The attitude to CCTV camera networks varies greatly in the European Union,
from the position in Denmark where such cameras are banned by law to the
position in the UK, where many hundreds of CCTV networks exist. Nevertheless,
a common position on the status of such systems where they exist in relation
to data protection principles should apply in general. A specific consideration
is the legal status of admissibility as evidence, of digital material such


as those taken by the more advanced CCTV systems. Much of this will fall
within data protection legislation if the material gathered can be searched,
e.g., by car number plate or by time. Given that material from such systems
can be seamlessly edited, the European Data Protection Directive legislation
needs to be implemented through primary legislation which clarifies the law
as it applies to CCTV, to avoid confusion amongst both CCTV data controllers
as well as citizens as data subjects. Primary legislation will make it possible
to extend the impact of the Directive to areas of activity that do not fall
within community law. Articles 3 and 13 of the Directive should not create
a blanket covering the use of CCTV in every circumstance in a domestic context.

A proper code of practice should cover the use of all CCTV surveillance schemes
operating in public spaces and especially in residential area. The Code of
Practice should encompass:- a) a purpose statement covering the key objectives
of the scheme; b) a consideration of the extent to which the scheme falls
within the scope of Data Protection legislation; c) the responsibilities
of the owner of the scheme and those of local partners; d) the way the scheme
is to be effectively managed and installed; e) the principles of accountability;
f) the availability of public information on the scheme and the principles
of its operation in residential areas; g) the formal approaches to be used
to assess, evaluate and audit the performance of both the scheme and the
accompanying Code of Practice; h) mechanisms for dealing with complaints
and any breaches of the Code including those of security; i) detailing the
extent of any police contacts or use of the scheme; and j) the procedures
for democratically dealing with proposals of technological change.

Given that the United Kingdom has one of the most advanced CCTV network coverage
in Europe and that the issues of regulation and control have been perhaps
more developed that elsewhere, it is suggested that the Civil Liberties Committee
formally consider the model Code of Practice for CCTV produced by the Local
Government Information Unit (LGIU, 1996) in London (A Watching Brief) at
a future meeting of this committee, with a view to recommending it for adoption
throughout the EU.

4.3 Bugging & Tapping Devices

A wide range of bugging and tapping devices have been evolved to record
conversations and to intercept telecommunications traffic. (See Fig. 24)
In recent years the widespread practice of illegal and legal interception
of communications and the planting of ‘bugs’ has been an issue in many European
states. For example, Italy, France,
Norway,48 the
Netherlands49 and the
U.K.50 The level and scale of some of these
illegal activities is astonishing. For example, a court meeting on 30 September
1996 was told that the Presidential Palace’s anti-terrorist unit was tapping
six former Mitterand administration officials, including ex-cabinet chief
Giles Manage.51 An official panel, the independent
Commission for the Control of Security Interceptions, said that 100,000 telephone
lines are illegally tapped each year in France and that state agencies may
be behind much of the eavesdropping. They found that curbs imposed by official
bodies may have tempted them to farm out their illegal bugging to private

However, planting illegal bugs like the one shown in (Fig 24) is yesterday’s
technology. Modern snoopers can by specially adapted lap top computers like
that shown in (Fig.24), and simply tune in to all the mobile phones active
in the area by cursoring down to their number. The machine will even search
for numbers ‘of interest’ to see if they are active. However,


these bugs and taps pale into insignificance next to the national and
international state run interceptions networks.

4.4 National & International Communications Interceptions Networks

Modern communications systems are virtually transparent to the advanced
interceptions equipment which can be used to listen in. Some systems even
lend themselves to a dual role as a national interceptions network. For example
the message switching system used on digital exchanges like System X in the
UK supports an Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) Protocol. This
allows digital devices, e.g. fax to share the system with existing lines.
The ISDN subset is defined in their documents as “Signalling CCITT1-series
interface for ISDN access. What is not widely known is that built in to the
international CCITT protocol is the ability to take phones ‘off hook’ and
listen into conversations occurring near the phone, without the user being
aware that it is happening. (SGR Newsletter, No.4, 1993) This effectively
means that a national dial up telephone tapping capacity is built into these
systems from the start. (System X has been exported to Russia & China)
Similarly, the digital technology required to pinpoint mobile phone users
for incoming calls, means that all mobile phone users in a country when
activated, are mini-tracking devices, giving their owners whereabouts at
any time and stored in the company’s computer for up to two years. Coupled
with System X technology, this is a custom built mobile track, tail and tap
system par excellence.(Sunday Telegraph, 2.2.97).

Within Europe, all email, telephone and fax communications are routinely
intercepted by the United States National Security Agency, transferring all
target information from the European mainland via the strategic hub of London
then by Satellite to Fort Meade in Maryland via the crucial hub at Menwith
Hill in the North York Moors of the UK. The system was first uncovered in
the 1970’s by a group of researchers in the UK (Campbell, 1981). The researchers
used open sources but were subsequently arrested under Britain’s Official
Secrets legislation. The ‘ABC’ trial that followed was a critical turning
point in researcher’s understanding both of the technology of political control
and how it might be challenged by research on open sources.(See Aubrey,1981
& Hooper 1987) Other work on what is now known as Signals intelligence
was undertaken by researchers such as James Bamford, which uncovered a billion
dollar world wide interceptions network, which he nicknamed ‘Puzzle Palace’.
A recent work by Nicky Hager, Secret Power, (Hager,1996) provides
the most comprehensive details to date of a project known as
ECHELON. Hager interviewed more
than 50 people concerned with intelligence to document a global surveillance
system that stretches around the world to form a targeting system on all
of the key Intelsat satellites used to convey most of the world’s satellite
phone calls, internet, email, faxes and telexes. These sites are based at
Sugar Grove and Yakima, in the USA, at Waihopai in New Zealand, at Geraldton
in Australia, Hong Kong, and Morwenstow in the UK.

The ECHELON system forms part of the UKUSA system but unlike many of the
electronic spy systems developed during the cold war, ECHELON is designed
for primarily non-military targets: governments, organisations and businesses
in virtually every country. The ECHELON system works by indiscriminately
intercepting very large quantities of communications and then siphoning out
what is valuable using artificial intelligence aids like Memex. to find key
words. Five nations share the results with the US as the senior partner under
the UKUSA agreement of 1948, Britain, Canada, New Zealand and Australia are
very much acting as subordinate information servicers.


Each of the five centres supply “dictionaries” to the other four of keywords,
phrases, people and places to “tag” and the tagged intercept is forwarded
straight to the requesting country. Whilst there is much information gathered
about potential terrorists, there is a lot of economic intelligence, notably
intensive monitoring of all the countries participating in the GATT negotiations.
But Hager found that by far the main priorities of this system continued
to be military and political intelligence applicable to their wider interests.
Hager quotes from a”highly placed intelligence operatives” who spoke to the
Observer in London. “We feel we can no longer remain silent regarding
that which we regard to be gross malpractice and negligence within the
establishment in which we operate.” They gave as examples. GCHQ interception
of three charities, including Amnesty International and Christian Aid. “At
any time GCHQ is able to home in on their communications for a routine target
request,” the GCHQ source said. In the case of phone taps the procedure is
known as Mantis. With telexes its called Mayfly. By keying in a code relating
to third world aid, the source was able to demonstrate telex “fixes” on the
three organisations. With no system of accountability, it is difficult to
discover what criteria determine who is not a target.

In February, The UK based research publication Statewatch reported that the
EU had secretly agreed to set up an international telephone tapping network
via a secret network of committees established under the “third pillar” of
the Mastricht Treaty covering co-operation on law and order. Key points of
the plan are outlined in a memorandum of understanding, signed by EU states
in 1995.(ENFOPOL 112 10037/95 25.10.95) which remains classified. According
to a Guardian report (25.2.97) it reflects concern among European
Intelligence agencies that modern technology will prevent them from tapping
private communications. “EU countries it says, should agree on “international
interception standards set at a level that would ensure encoding or scrambled
words can be broken down by government agencies.” Official reports say that
the EU governments agreed to co-operate closely with the FBI in Washington.
Yet earlier minutes of these meetings suggest that the original initiative
came from Washington. According to Statewatch, network and service providers
in the EU will be obliged to install “tappable” systems and to place under
surveillance any person or group when served with an interception order.
These plans have never been referred to any European government for scrutiny,
nor one suspects to the Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament,
despite the clear civil liberties issues raised by such an unaccountable
system. We are told that the USA, Australia, Canada, Norway and Hong Kong
are ready to sign up.All these bar Norway are parties to the ECHELON system
and it is impossible to determine if there are not other agendas at work
here. Nothing is said about finance of this system but a report produced
by the German government estimates that the mobile phone part of the package
alone will cost 4 billion D-marks.

Statewatch concludes that “It is the interface of the ECHELON system and
its potential development on phone calls combined with the standardisation
of “tappable communications centres and equipment being sponsored by the
EU and the USA which presents a truly global threat over which there are
no legal or democratic controls.”(Press release 25.2.97)

Clearly, there needs to be a wide ranging debate on the significance of these
proposals before further any further political or financial commitments are
made. The following recommendations have that objective in mind.



(i) All surveillance technologies, operations and practices should be subject
to procedures to ensure democratic accountability and there should be proper
codes of practice to ensure redress if malpractice or abuse takes place.
Explicit criteria should be agreed for deciding who should be targeted for
surveillance and who should not, how such data is stored, processed and shared.
Such criteria and associated codes of practice should be made publicly available.

(ii) All requisite codes of practice should ensure that new surveillance
technologies are brought within the appropriate data protection legislation.

(iii) Given that data from most digital monitoring systems can be seamlessly
edited, new guidance should be provided on what constitutes admissible evidence.
This concern is particularly relevant to automatic identification systems
which will need to take cognizance of the provisions of Article 15, of the
1995 European Directive on the Protection of Individuals and Processing of
Personal Data.

(iv) Regulations should be developed covering the provision of electronic
bugging and tapping devices to private citizens and companies, so that their
sale is governed by legal permission rather than self regulation.

(v) Use of telephone interception by Member states should be subject to
procedures of public accountability referred to in (i) above. Before any
telephone interception takes place a warrant should be obtained in a manner
prescribed by the relevant parliament. In most cases, law enforcement agencies
will not be permitted to self-authorise interception except in the most unusual
of circumstances which should be reported back to the authorising authority
at the earliest opportunity.

(vi) Annual statistics on interception should be reported to each member
states’ parliament. These statistics should provide comprehensive details
of the actual number of communication devices intercepted and data should
be not be aggregated. (This is to avoid the statistics only identifying the
number of warrants, issued whereas organisations under surveillance may have
many hundreds of members, all of whose phones may be subject to interception).

(vii) Technologies facilitating the automatic profiling and pattern analysis
of telephone calls to establish friendship and contact networks should be
subject to the same legal requirements as those for telephone interception
and reported to the relevant member state parliament.

(viii) The European Parliament should reject proposals from the United States
for making private messages via the global communications network (Internet)
accessible to US Intelligence Agencies. Nor should the Parliament agree to
new expensive encryption controls without a wide ranging debate within the
EU on the implications of such measures. These encompass the civil and human
rights of European citizens and the commercial rights of companies to operate
within the law, without unwarranted surveillance by intelligence agencies
operating in conjunction with multinational competitors.

(ix) The Committee should commission a more detailed report on the constitutional
issues raised by the National Security Agency (NSA) facility to intercept
all European telecommunications and the impact this supervisory capacity
has on a) any existing


constitutional safeguards protecting individuals or organisations from invasion
of privacy such as those extant for example in Germany, b) the political,
cultural and economic autonomy of European member states. This report should
also cover the social and political implications of the EU/FBI proposals
made to operate a global telecommunications surveillance network as discussed
above. This report should also analyze the financial and constitutional
implications of the proposals and provide an update of the work undertaken
so far and the status of political approval.

(x) Relevant committees of the European Parliament considering proposals
for technologies which have civil liberties implications for example the
Telecommunications Committee in regard to surveillance, should be required
to forward all relevant policy proposals and reports to the Civil Liberties
Committee for their observations in advance of any political or financial
decisions on deployment being taken.

(xi) All CCTV surveillance schemes operating in public spaces and especially
in residential areas should be governed by a comprehensive Code of Practice
which encompasses:- a) a purpose statement covering the key objectives of
the scheme; b) a consideration of the extent to which the scheme falls within
the scope of Data Protection legislation; c) the responsibilities of the
owner of the scheme and those of local partners; d) the way the scheme is
to be effectively managed and installed; e) the principles of accountability;
f) the availability of public information on the scheme and the principles
of its operation in residential areas; g) the formal approaches to be used
to assess, evaluate and audit the performance of both the scheme and the
accompanying Code of Practice; h) mechanisms for dealing with complaints
and any breaches of the Code including those of security; i) detailing the
extent of any police contacts or use of the scheme; and j) the procedures
for democratically dealing with proposals of technological change. It is
suggested that the Civil Liberties Committee formally consider adopting the
model Code of Practice for CCTV, produced by the Local Government Information
Unit (LGIU) in London (A Watching Brief, 1996).


The original development of riot weapons goes back to Paris before the first
World War, where the police began chemical crowd control using bombs filled
with ethyl bromoacetate, an early form of teargas. The British colonies proved
to be the forcing ground for the wide range of chemical and kinetic impact
weapons which followed. The irritant CS for example was first used in Cyprus
in 1956, and between 1960 and 1965, CN and CS were used on 124 occasions
in the colonies. (Ackroyd et al, 1977).The growing demands of counter-insurgency
and urban warfare generated a first generation of new riot weapons serviced
by a growing police industrial complex.

Thus plastic and rubber bullets were products of British colonial experience
in Hong Kong where the flying wooden teak baton round became the template
for future kinetic weapons. The concept was one of a flying truncheon which
could disperse a crowd without using small arms. They were however regarded
as too dangerous for use on white people, so in 1969, Porton Down came up
with a ‘safer’ version for use in Northern Ireland in 1970. Just as plastic
bullets were considered far too dangerous for use in mainland Britain until
1985 when they proliferated throughout the UK’s police forces,so were wooden
baton rounds regarded as too dangerous for the residents of Northern Ireland
but not Hong Kong. Now plastic bullets have been deployed in virtually every
continent from the USA to Argentina, from South Africa


to Israel and China. Obviously, the shift in whether or not a riot weapon
was appropriate or safe had nothing to do with differences in physiology.
Wooden and plastic baton rounds created injuries which did not take account
of generation or race. A predominant concern appears to have been what can
be portrayed as politically safe in a particular context.

The seductive notion of soft and gentle knockout weapons is recent but not
new. It has its roots back in the 1970’s when so called ‘non-lethal’ weapons
formed the holy grail of riot weapon Research & Development. During that
decade, then Congressman James Scheur outlined a new philosophy of crowd
control weapons.(see Fig.26). He saw such developments resulting from ‘spinoffs
from medical, military, aerospace and industrial research’ and expressed
the view that: ‘We are now in the process of developing devices and products
capable of controlling violent individuals and entire mobs without
injury.’53 The veracity of this assessment is
briefly examined below, particularly the assertion that control is achieved
without harm.

Some idea of the range and variety of riot control weapons under consideration
at that time can be gleaned from the 1972 US National Science Foundation’s
Report on Non-lethal Weapons. (NSF, 1972). Altogether it listed 34 different
weapons, including chemical and kinetic weapons; electrified water jets;
combined stroboscopic light and pulsed sound weapons; infrasound weapons;
dartguns which fire drug-filled flight stabilized syringes; stench parts
which give off an obnoxious odour; the taser which fires two small electrical
contacts discharging 50,000 volts into the target; and instant banana peel
which makes roads so slippery, they are impassable.

Many of these weapons were then only partly developed or had problems of
public acceptability:others have since achieved operational status. They
include: incapacitation weapons such as the electronic riot shields and
electro-shock batons (discussed in Sections 6, 7, & 8 below); Bulk chemical
irritant distributor systems, (delivered by watercannon such as the UK made
Tactica or the many back pack sprays like those made by the Israeli company
Ispra (Fig.27 or the German Heckler 8 Koch (Fig. 28); New forms of irritant
such as OC (or peppergas); kinetic impact weapons like the German & UK
plastic bullet guns (shown in Fig. 32) or the South African hydraulically
fired, TFM Slingshot rubber bullet machine; biomedical weapons, such as the
compressed air fired drug syringe now commercially available both in the
US & China (shown in Fig. 33).

The range of weapons currently deployed for crowd control is vast indeed
and defies any attempts to be comprehensive. In Britain, since the first
use of CS gas, rubber bullets and water cannon at the beginning of the Northern
Irish Conflict in 1969, there has been a globalisation of such public order
technologies. To our knowledge some 856 companies across 47 countries have
been or are currently active in the manufacture and supply of such weapons.
This proliferation has been fuelled by private companies wishing to tap lucrative
security markets, a process which has led to both vertical and horizontal
proliferation of this technology. (See Appendix 1 [not provided with
) For example, one company, Civil Defence Supply, who provide
nearly all UK police forces with sidehandled batons, boast of an international
riot training programme, having trained the entire Mexican Police Granaderos
with armadillo linked riot shields, CS and baton firing guns like the Arwen
and what they call the complete ‘Early Resolution System’, for its elite

To understand why this arsenal of crowd control weapons has been developed,
it is vital


to understand the thinking which underlies their construction. An important
task in assessing new crowd control technologies is to examine the criteria
used to evaluate just what is an ‘acceptable’ police weapon, and to whom.
In the discussion below, an attempt is made to clarify why the theory of
‘non-lethal’ weapons used for ‘minimum force’ policing, does not match the
reality of para-militarised riot squad approaches to ‘peacekeeping’. Governments
themselves have been using Technology Assessment to evaluate the relative
effectiveness of such weapons. For example, since 1963, there has been an
exchange of information on public order weapons between the US, Canada, Britain
& Australia, allowing Porton Down to share technical evaluation of proposed
non-lethal hardware, with US military scientists. Virtually all the most
recent US government projects on this weaponry have been classified as “special
access” (see 5.6 below) but the early work is quite revealing. Military
scientists working at the US Army Human Engineering Laboratory in the early
1970’s elaborated a systematic set of procedures to evaluate the desirable
and undesirable effects of particular weapons. (See Chart 5a), covering a
comparative assessment of both the medical and physiological consequences
of each weapon type, together with an evaluation of public acceptability.(See
Chart 5b).54

5.1 Cost-Effective Crowd Control Weapons

The simplistic theory which underlies the use of riot weapons assumes that
a ‘minimum force’ strategy of area denial or dispersal can actually contain
deep seated conflicts. The problem with this approach is that real peace
can never be simply defined as an absence of anyone remaining in the conflict
zones. ‘Minimum force’ is an elastic concept, particularly when the force
deploying it no longer enjoys widespread legitimacy.

A dominant assumption behind the acquisition of new police weapons, is the
belief that they will create both a faster policing response time and a greater
cost-effectiveness. Again, a key aim has been to save policing resources
by either automating certain control functions, amplifying the rate of particular
control activities, or decreasing the number of officers required to perform
them. Consequently, nearly all the weapons discussed in this report, have
been functionally designed to yield an extension of the scope, efficiency
and growth of policing power. New riot weapons enable police, paramilitary
and state security forces to distribute more coercion to a greater number
of people. Therefore they allow a fewer number of officers to threaten a
larger number of people in a crowd and over a distance. Hence, riot weapons
allow fewer officers to break up a disturbance than when using unarmed personnel,
or a larger gathering to be tackled than could otherwise be taken on. The
basis of this cost-effectiveness criterion has been neatly summed up by the
then Brigadier, Sir Frank Kitson:

“For example, three or four times as many troops might be required, if
they were only allowed persuasion, as would be needed if they were allowed
to use batons and gas; and three or four times as many troops might be needed
if they were restricted to using batons and gas, as would be required if
they were allowed to use small arms.” (Kitson, 1971,p. 90).

However, although in the short term, it may seem that these weapons can contain
overtly violent conflict, their use in the longer term may feed or exacerbate
the processes responsible for its development. A study undertaken at the
Richardson Institute at the University of Lancaster, described evidence of
such processes at work in Northern Ireland. (Wright,
1987)55 The study found that less-lethal weapons
used in the context of a phased deployment of counter-insurgency strategies,
could lead to more force being used. In the beginning this was


evidenced by the deployment of higher numbers of riot weapons, then the
substitution of each new less-lethal weapon by a more severe type. The initial
use of water canon thus gave way to the use of CS gas. This was augmented
by rubber bullets which were then replaced by the harder hitting PVC variety,
(See Chart 6) and in greater quantities. Further empirical work suggested
that because these riot systems were being deployed in the context of a phased
set of counter-insurgency tactics, the resistance they bred led to a successive
deployment of each subsequent and more violent phase of the low intensity
conflict programme. In effect they bred the dissent they were designed to
‘fix”. (Wright, 1981 ) Graphing the deployment of less-lethal weapons against
the crude indicator of political killings in Northern Ireland revealed a
pattern which appeared to corroborate this finding. As each new weapon deployment
was associated with an upsurge in the death count (See Chart 7). Over longer
time periods, another study detected predictable levels of weapon utilization.
(Wright, 1981)

For example, fairly constant levels of munitions were used as if the supply
itself was the greatest determinant of usage. (See Chart 8). A new form of
multivariant time series analysis was evolved to describe the effect of
deployments of these weapons and tactics. (Wright, 1987). What emerged was
a complex set of causal influences which locked the participants into their
own violent behaviour. During the period when this conflict broke down, variables
indicating violent behaviour of the various participants, were most influenced
by their own previous behaviour. (See Chart 9) Paradoxically, whilst these
weapons were meant to provide a new series of flexible responses, their ultimate
effect was to programme their targets into traditional anti-state activities
and procedures. In other words, their most invidious characteristic may be
to undermine non-violence as a means of public protest. (Wright, 1992) The
real physical effects of these weapons described below, may go some way to
explaining their dysfunctional impact on conflict behaviour.

5.2 Harmless Weapons? – The Scientific Evidence

Statements made by military scientists and police chiefs about “non-lethal”
weapons and “minimum force”, have led the public to believe that crowd control
weapons were designed for humanitarian reasons and are in fact harmless.
Such sentiments have been echoed by many governments and reinforced by reports
from laboratories and the manufacturers actually creating the technology
of political control.

If safety was the prime consideration, we might expect the research on such
weapons to be especially thorough prior to their authorization. Since most
future developments are still essentially modifications of existing chemical
or kinetic impact weapons, it is worth reexamining the historical research
which has permitted and legitimised this research in respect to the European
state which has used these weapons the most, i.e. the United Kingdom.

5.3 Harmless Kinetic Impact Weapons?

In January 1977, the then Secretary of State For defence, was asked about
the research on the likely death and injury rates from rubber and plastic
bullets carried out prior to their introduction. The reply referred to a
report produced by four surgeons working at the Victoria Hospital in Belfast
in 1972, (two years after rubber bullets had been used in Northern
Ireland), and said that comparable information for plastic bullets was not


Chart 5. US Human Engineering Laboratory Technology

Assessment of various ‘less lethal’ kinetic weapons


Chart 6. Trends in Riot Weapon use in Northern Ireland from 1969 –


Chart 7. Impact of introduction of new riot weapons on

the level of political killings in Northern Ireland


Chart 8. Structure of riot weapon use


Chart 9. Multi variant time series analysis of Northern Irish conflict
1976 – 1981


The Belfast surgeons report makes stark reading.(Millar et al, 1972). It
informs us that of 90 patients who sought hospital treatment after being
hit by rubber bullets, 41 needed in patient treatment. Their injuries included
three fractured skulls, 32 fractures of the facial bones (nose,jaw, cheek
etc.), eight ruptured eye globes (all resulting in blindness), three cases
of severe brain damage, seven cases of lung injury, and one case of damage
to liver, spleen and intestine. The overall role call included one death,
two people blinded in both eyes, five with severe loss of vision in one eye
and four with sever disfigurement of the face. The surgeons also found evidence
of rubber bullets being fired at much closer ranges than those for which
they were designed. Rubber bullets were not meant to be fired at distances
of less than 25 metres but the surgeons found that half of those brought
into hospital had been shot at less than 15 metres and one third at less
than 5 metres. Part of the problem is that such area dispersal weapons are
meant to create a dispersal zone. If anyone is unfortunate enough to be in
such a zone, there may not be much choice in avoiding being targeted by such
weapons, since part of their threat is the fear of becoming a random victim.

In the 1970’s, military researchers in the US undertook their own research
on kinetic weapons. They concluded that rubber bullets had an extremely high
probability of undesirable effects in any scenario for their possible operational
use. The US Army research undertaken on live animals, found that impact weapons
with energy levels of above 90 ft. lbs., caused injuries, “in the severe
damage region.”(Thein, et al, 1974; Wargovitch, et al, 1975). A member of
BSSRS, Jonathan Rosenhead, was able to use the comparative kinetic energy/damage
figures in the US literature, to establish that given their muzzle velocity
(about 293 ft. lbs.), for most if not all of its range, the rubber bullet
is in the severe damage region. (Rosenhead, 1976).

It is worth noting that for the purposes of this present study, sample kinetic
riot weapons from the USA, the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands were assessed
using the original US military criteria on impact effects. It was found that
all these weapons were in either the dangerous or severe damage region
categories. (See Chart 4)

Plastic bullets totally replaced rubber bullets in Northern Ireland by 1975.
Although authoritative sources such as Jane’s Infantry Weapons (1976),
asserted that rubber bullets were withdrawn because the disability and serious
injury rates ‘were not considered acceptable’, the official explanation was
simply the plastic baton round’s greater
accuracy.57 Rosenhead argued that given the
even higher muzzle velocity of the plastic bullet, it was even more dangerous,
especially at close range.

His analysis has been amply born out by the history of injuries and deaths
caused by plastic bullets in Northern Ireland. A survey undertaken by Mr
Laurance Rocke, (Senior Registrar at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast),
reported in the Lancet during 1983, that plastic bullets are even
more deadly than the rubber bullets they replaced.(Rocke, 1983). They cause
more severe injuries to the skull and brain and therefore more deaths. Despite
the security forces rule that baton rounds must be aimed below the waist,
31 of the 99 plastic bullet victims covered in the Rocke survey suffered
head injuries, He attributed the difference in the respective injuries and
deaths for rubber and plastic bullets to their corresponding ballistic
characteristics. Plastic bullets caused serious injuries less often than
rubber bullets because the latter was less stable in flight and tended to
hit a victim sideways. Plastic bullets resulted in more fractured skulls,
lacerated scalps and deaths.

More worrying are the human faces behind these statistics. Between May 1973
and August


1984, 12 people were killed by plastic bullets. Inquests have found that
six of the twelve fatalities were not involved in any civil disturbances
when they were shot and seven of the twelve victims were children aged under

During August 1981, an international commission of enquiry, sponsored by
the Association of Legal Justice, travelled to Belfast to investigate the
use of plastic bullets. One of its members was senior British research scientist,
Dr. Tim Shallice, who wrote in the New Statesman, “The conclusion
seemed inescapable to members of the commission: the Northern Ireland authorities
were knowingly allowing widespread, indiscriminate and illegal use of a weapon
whose lethal potential was well known” (Shallice, 1981).

Since then it has been very much business as usual. Just last summer in Northern
Ireland, the RUC used the now British owned Heckler and Koch anti-riot weapon
to fire thousands of plastic bullets. Whilst an immediate inquiry was called,
few reports emerged of the way that innocent residents out for a night
socialising were corralled by Landrovers and fired upon as all escape exits
were sealed off.

Evidence Gathered by the Committee for the Administration of Justice in Northern
Ireland (CAJ), suggests a serious flouting of official guidelines for the
RUC use of plastic bullets, when over 6002 plastic bullets were fired in
just one weekend (July, 1996). CAJ recorded instances of the RUC firing
indiscriminately when no disturbances were going on (including people being
injured by plastic bullets as they were coming out of a disco); young people
being shot by plastic bullets as they left a fast food restaurant; CAJ observers
and journalists shot at by plastic bullets; people who were clearly attempting
to leave areas of disturbance were also targeted. Victims of the conflict
seeking medical attention at Altnagelvin Hospital were subject to a baton
charge by riot police who had entered the casualty area dressed in full riot
gear with dogs. Witness statements were gathered which suggested that many
people refused to seek treatment from injuries they sustained from baton
rounds for fear of arrest. (CAJ, 1996)

In such circumstances, the indiscriminate deployment of plastic bullets removes
people’s rights of assembly and may remove their rights to freedom of movement
and in some situations their right to life. The provisions of the UN Code
of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officers in regard to the principle of
proportionality appear to have been breached last summer by the RUC, (as
well as their duty not to use excessive force if it is possible to use
non-violent means before resorting to force and firearms). We can think of
no reason to challenge the European Parliament’s decision of May, 1982 which
called for a ban on the use of plastic bullets within the EU, and recommend
that the European Parliament reaffirm their call for a total ban on this

5.4 Harmless Chemical Irritant Weapons?

We know that over 300 companies are currently manufacturing and marketing
chemical incapacitants to military, security, prison and police forces around
the world and a vast range of equipment is available, including cartridges,
grenades, backpack sprays and hand held aerosols. Yet the safety of the commonly
used riot control agents is also questionable. In high doses they can kill,
a reality harshly brought home by deaths of children in South Africa during
the apartheid years. Even in lower doses, there are a range of very unpleasant
side effects including bronchitis, asthma, lung and eye damage, contact
dermatitis and prolonged diarrhoea. An examination of the actual research
undertaken on CS prior to its authorization


for use in the Derry riots of 1969 reveal some gross omissions and assumptions.
The claim that CS did not harm people with breathing ailments rested on a
study of two bronchitic rabbits; possible effects on the unborn child were
tested by the response on fertilised chicken eggs when injected with
CS.59 Inadequate evidence had been gathered
on its effects on those suffering from heart complaints and experiments to
determine whether or not CS was carcinogenic, were not completed until two
years after it had been intensively used in Northern Ireland.

After the 1969 Derry riots, a committee of inquiry was set up, (the Himsworth
Committee) to look at the medical and toxicological effects of CS. Although
it drew heavily on existing Porton studies, the Himsworth Committee accepted
that under certain circumstances CS can kill and that it can also produce
highly unpleasant but non-fatal injuries to the lungs. Himsworth made the
sensible recommendation that in future, riot agents should be regarded more
akin to drugs than weapons and the authorities should publish the results
of safety tests, in the scientific press, in full, prior to any authorization.
(HMSO, Cmnd 4775, 1971). This is such a clear and reasonable precautionary
stance, that we recommend that the European Parliament adopt it as the baseline
criterion for all the chemical irritants which might ever be deployed in
the EU.

Alas, for the amount of attention the UK government paid to this recommendation,
we have only to look at the circumstances surrounding the introduction for
use throughout the UK in certain special circumstances, of CR in 1973. CR
is an incapacitant which causes temporary blindness. According to one Porton
report, it feels like being thrown blindfolded into a bed of stinging nettles.
(See Fig. 28)60 In 1977 the Secretary of State
for Defence was challenged to withdraw authorization for CR until the Himsworth
recommendations were complied with. The Minister refused, claiming this was
already the case and went on to quote a string of articles all except one
of which was published after 1973. None of these articles addressed the issue
of carcinogenicity, an important consideration for chemicals that are intended
for direct spraying on the skin. If research on these new weapons was not
fully completed before they were used then the idea that they were deployed
because of safety considerations must be rejected. Less-lethal weapons of
this type are also presented as more acceptable alternatives to guns. But
these weapons augment rather than replace the more lethal weapons in police
arsenals. Euphemistic labels such as watercannon, teargas and rubber bullets
are used to create the impression that these weapons represent soft and gentle
forms of control, CS is never referred to by the authorities as vomit gas,
in spite of its capacity to cause violent retching.

A further danger of stronger incapacitating chemicals sprayed directly on
to crowds is the impact it can have on changing police practices. In the
1960’s crowd dispersion was seen as the key requirement so that the a provision
of escape routes was part of the training packages used. With the advent
of new paralysing systems, crowd capture becomes a possibility as foam barriers
to seal off all escape routes become a precursor for mass arrest. This tactic
was deployed against German anti-nuclear protestors in Wackendorf, over ten
years ago, when 7,000 police were used to ring a crowd of 1000
activists.61 (See Fig 29). On this occasion
chemical foam was used in area denial rather than capture so the example
is illustrative. However, with the back pack sprayers now being produced,
much fewer personnel could achieve the same tactic. This is part of the problem
on the horizon.


5.5 Harmless Irritant Gas Sprays?

The introduction of hand held gas irritant sprays into Europe into countries
such as Germany, France and most recently, the UK, has yielded an offensive
as well as a defensive capacity. Again1 in the UK we might have assumed they
would be governed by existing UK policy on the introduction of new chemical
weapons for domestic control.

Until the nineties, despite intensive research, only four chemical agents
were primarily used for such purposes, namely CN, CS, CR and most recently
(Peppergas) OC. This is because there are real difficulties in marrying an
agent with low toxicity and high effectiveness. CN and CS (developed by Porton
Down in the fifties) are in fact war gases and hundreds of deaths are attributed
to their use in the Vietnam conflict where they were used to flush out Vietcong
in tunnels.62

Porton scientists have always been quite realistic about the possible dangers
of new chemical weapons for public order control. “As with other foreign
chemicals to which man may be exposed, no matter how detailed, extensive
and carefully effected are the pre-clinical toxicity investigations and
observations in controlled human exposures, there can be no complete guarantee
from such studies that there is absolute safety in use for a given
chemical.”63 Such caution about weapons designed
to be sprayed directly in the face is well founded. Their use in riot control
is based on an assumption that the level of irritant will be dispersed because
they will be deployed in wide open spaces. There are special dangers associated
with using chemical aerosols in tight confines where dangerous concentrations
can build up. As another scientist has commented, “Politician and scientist
alike must accept the inescapable conclusion that any substance capable of
producing an intolerable irritation at low concentrations must also produce
a concomitantly high toxicity. In other words, the existence of ideal riot
agents of sufficient safety not to impair the health of rioters or accidently
exposed innocents is merely notional.”64

As we have seen, there is evidence that CS can cause permanent but non-lethal
lung damage at comparatively low doses65, as
well as second degree burns with blistering and severe
dermatitis.66 In situations where high exposure
to CS has occurred, heart failure, hepatocellur damage and death have been
reported (HMSO, 1971). Some evidence also exists that people subject to repeated
doses of CS develop tolerance, further increasing their level of
exposure.67 One study has concluded that a single
exposure to high level of respiratory irritants similar to CS have led to
the development of ‘reactive airways disease syndrome’ in some individuals,
characterised by prolonged cough and shortness of
breath.68 New restraint tactics used alongside
gas sprays are a potential recipe for fatalities.

It is revealing that when tests on French made (SAE Alsetex) CS spray took
place in the UK, a Metropolitan police inspector suffered burns to his eyes
during tests in Northampton – thought to be due to the
propellant.69 It also emerged that Dr Jill Tan,
the Home Office scientist who gave these devices the all clear, suffered
blisters to her face when sprayed with the CS product during tests. Self-Defence
expert Inspector Pete Boatman who was training the instructors when the accident
happened has now been banned from training officers outside his region because
his Chief Constable is worried about being sued by people injured by the
incapacitant.70 Throughout the CS trials in
the UK, which began on March 1, 1996, the public were constantly reassured
about the safety of this product based on French studies, studies undertaken
in the USA and military research conducted at Porton Down. A UK Channel 4
Dispatches programme revealed serious flaws in these assumptions. (Liberty,


1996). The French gendarmerie keep no statistics or records of CS use to
suggest it is safe. Indeed Professor Jean Claud Roujeau of the Hospital Henri
Mondor in Paris can quote much evidence to the contrary. “I have to disagree
because we have seen, in the last few years, several cases of patients suffering
from severe skin reactions to these spray. These reactions look like acute
burns, they are very spectacular and sometimes need hospitalisation for several
days, and can reach 10-20 per cent of the body surface area of the patient.
(See Fig. 30) It is generally agreed that above 20 per cent there is a risk
of death, so I think it is impossible to consider these products as generally
safe and harmless.” (Liberty, opp cit)

The British Government also cited work by the US National Toxicology Programme
(NTP) in Boston, but one of the world’s leading toxicologists Professor Howard
Hu said, “The NTP was purely designed to assess whether CS can cause cancer
in laboratory animals. It was not designed to see whether CS could cause
pulmonary (breathing) problems of a non carcinogenic nature, or skin problems
and it really says nothing about the potential of CS to cause health problems
in vulnerable people.” Professor Hu also said that CS may actually cause
asthma. “One of the conditions that CS may cause is commonly referred to
as RADS, a variant of asthma caused by a very high, brief intense exposure
to an irritant like CS”. He also said that CS may be linked to chromosomal
mutation – damage to the body’s DNA itself.

In fact, the French made spray was given a specification in the UK which
demanded that it be a 5% solution and release 5 centileters of fluid per
burst which compares with U.S. versions which contain a 1% solution and release
a 1% burst. In other words the French Sprays adopted by the UK were 25 times
as strong as those used in the United States. It is perhaps somewhat revealing
that the UK Government gave the go ahead for deployment of these sprays before
the trials were complete and before all the relevant research was published
in the scientific press.

In fact the safety concerns outlined above, are even more pressing in regard
to this newly introduced disabling chemical, Oleoresin Capsicum (OC), or
‘peppergas’. OC is a new irritant based on extracts from Chile pepper. As
a plant toxin it is banned for use in war by the 1972 Biological Weapons
convention but not for internal security use.

Porton Down began researching analogues of capsicum after it was used as
a military harassing agent in World War I in the form of acylated vanillylamide
and its more potent homologues such as VAN as a possible replacement for
the riot agent CN. However, the agent was predominantly used in the seventies
for Porton funded studies in the neurophysiology of pain such as those conducted
in 1975 by Foster and Ramage at Manchester University’s Medical
School.71 However, it was in the USA that companies
transformed this irritant into a commercial product which is now widely used
by both police, corrections departments and private citizens.

The effects of peppergas are far more severe, including temporary blindness
which last from 15-30 minutes, a burning sensation of the skin which last
from 45 to 60 minutes, upper body spasms which force a person to bend forward
and uncontrollable coughing making it difficult to breathe or speak for between
3 to 15 minutes.

For those with asthma, taking other drugs, or subject to restraining techniques
which restrict the breathing passages, there is a risk of death. The Los
Angeles Times has reported at least 61 deaths associated with police use
of pepper spray since 1990 in the USA,72 and
the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) documented 27 deaths in custody
of people


sprayed with peppergas in California alone, since

Whilst peppergas has been widely adopted in the US and Canada so far it has
not seen widespread usage in Europe. Nevertheless, several European companies
such as France,74
Spain76 and the
UK77 are known to be either marketing their
own brand or importing OC sprays and backpacks from the USA. However, the
US Army concluded in a 1993 Aberdeen Proving Ground study that pepper spray
could cause “Mutagenic effects, carcinogenic effects, sensitization,
cardiovascular and pulmonary toxicity, neurotoxicity, as well as possible
human fatalities .There is a risk in using this product on a large and varied
population” (Salem, 1993) However, the pepper spray got the go ahead despite
the reservations of the US military scientists after FBI tests gave it the
all clear.

It has subsequently been revealed that the head of the FBI’s Less-Than lethal
Weapons Programme, Special Agent Thomas WW Ward, took a $57,000 bribe from
a peppergas manufacturer to give the Zarc product Capstun, the all clear.
British researchers highlighted the conflict of scientific evidence to the
South California branch of ACLU who then took vigourous action to have the
agent withdrawn. Berkley’s Police Commission voted for a 60 day moratorium
on Peppergas.78 ACLU is now looking at the legal
implications and has asked the FBI to immediately retract and rescind all
research documentation. Allan Parachini, Public Affairs Director of ACLU
has said “The Ward Scandal in some ways exceeds the Rodney King beatings
in terms of its potential impact on law enforcement, since FBI research helped
convince police departments across the country that pepper spray was a safe
and effective way to subdue suspects.” In fact the breach of trust is much
more serious since many other countries as disparate as Australia and India
have subsequently adopted peppergas on the back of US research.

Not surprisingly, recent company marketing has focused on providing training
and certification to insulate officers from lawsuits associated with deaths
in custody cases. The effects of OC are so severe that companies such as
Bioshield & Foxguard have started to market decontamination wipes to
meet peppergas “post application requirements which in turn reduces the potential
for litigation”.

In the face of such findings, any European Member State who permits the
deployment of the OC irritant, may well find themselves facing legal action
in the future, if fatalities or other unusual impacts emerge. It is recommended
that the European Parliament errs on the side of caution and calls for a
moratorium on the acquisition, sale and deployment of Oleoresin Capsicum
irritant sprays, until independent research is undertaken on its safety and
published in full in the scientific press for peer review.

5.6 Second Generation Incapacitation Weapons

In the Nineties, the revolution in so called ‘non-lethal weapons’ was given
fresh impetus by new US programmes to fight internal conflicts – ostensibly
without casualties. The US Government was driven towards finding a universal
panacea because of a series of embarrassing and widely publicised debacles
including the Rodney King beating, the Waco siege and their unfortunate
experiences in Somalia, where they failed in crowd control operations with
only lethal technology. The new policy was avidly pushed in the States by
the likes of Col. John Alexander (who made his name as part of the Phoenix
Assassination programmes during the Vietnam war) and science fiction writers
such as Alvin Toffler (Toffler, 1994) and Janet and Chris Morris, (Morris
& Morris, 1990, 1994) and picked up by the


DoD and Justice Department.

Thus a second generation of kinetic, chemical, optico-acoustic, microwave,
disabling and paralysing technologies is on the horizon, to join the existing
arsenal of weapons designed for public order control. Much of the initial
new work has been undertaken in US nuclear laboratories such as Oak Ridge,
Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos. Many cynics see the work as a rice bowl
initiative with scientists looking for new weapons projects to justify their
future careers as the cold war made their old skill redundant. Already they
have come up with a pandora’s box of new technologies. These include:

* Ultra-sound generators, which cause disorientation, vomiting and involuntary
defecation, disturbing the ear system which controls balance and inducing
nausea. The system which uses two speakers can target individuals in a crowd.

* Visual stimulus and illusion techniques such as high intensity strobes
which pulse in the critical epileptic fit-inducing flashing frequency and
holograms used to project active camouflage.

* Reduced energy kinetic weapons. Variants on the bean bag philosophy which
ostensibly will result in no damage ( similar claims were once made about
plastic bullets). (See Fig. 32)

* New disabling, calmative, sleep inducing agents mixed with DMSO which enables
the agent to quickly cross the skin barrier and an extensive range of pain
causing, paralysing and foul-smelling area-denial chemicals. Some of these
are chemically engineered variants of the heroin molecule. They work extremely
rapidly, one touch and disablement follows. Yet one person’s tranquillization
may be another’s lethal dose. (See Fig. 33)

* Microwave and acoustic disabling systems. (see Fig. 34)

* Human capture nets which can be laced with chemical irritant or electrified
to pack an extra disabling punch. (See Fig. 34)

* Lick ’em and stick ’em technology such as the Sandia National Laboratory’s
foam gun which expands to between 35-50 times its original volume. Its extremely
sticky, gluing together any target’s feet and hands to the pavement. (See
Fig. 35)

* Aqueous barrier foam which can be laced with pepper spray.

* Blinding laser weapons and Isotrophic radiator shells which use superheated
gaseous plasma to produce a dazzling burst of laser like light. (See Fig.

* Thermal guns which incapacitate through a wall by raising body temperature
to 107 degrees.

* Magnetosphere gun which delivers what feels like a blow to the head.

We are no longer at a theoretical stage with these weapons. US companies
are already piloting new systems, lobbying hard and where possible, laying
down potentially lucrative patents. For example, last year New Scientist
reported that the American Technology Corporation (ATC) of Poway California
has used what it calls acoustical heterodyning technology to target individuals
in a crowd with infra-sound to pinpoint an individual 200-300


metres away. The system can also project sonic holograms which can conjure
audio messages out of thin air so just one person
hears.79 Meanwhile, Jane’s reported that
the US Army Research Laboratory has produced a variable velocity rifle for
lethal or non lethal use a new twist to flexible
response.80 Other companies are promoting robots
for use in riot and prison control.

The National Institute of Justice in the US is now actively soliciting new
ideas for such weapons from corporate
bodies,81 and corporate US has responded with
bodies like SPIE (The International Society For Optical Engineering), which
have enthusiastically responded with a special conference on ‘Enabling
Technologies for Law Enforcement and Security’ at the Hynes Convention centre
in Boston, Nov 19-21, 1996. The panel on less than lethal technologies has
experts talking on subjects such as: The non-lethal laser baton; design of
a variable velocity gun system for law enforcement applications; sticky shocker;
definition of lethality thresholds for KE less-lethal projectiles; violence
reduction and assailant control with laser sighted police pistols; directed
energy technologies: weaponisation and barrier applications; pepper spray
projectile for countering hostage and barricade situations; aqueous foam
as a less than lethal technology for prison applications etc. A formal Pentagon
policy on the use of non-lethal weapons was prepared last year in response
to Congressional instructions to initiate a joint acquisitions programme.
Whilst there are practical problems regarding whether it is preferable to
leave an enemy or a citizen dead rather than permanently maimed, and whether
or not hallucinogenic or other psychotropic ‘calmative’ agents fall foul
of the Chemical Weapons Convention, the spending call was for $15 million
annually over the next three years, to fund new and existing

Critics of such projects suggest that non-lethal war is a contradiction in
terms. Many of the so called non-lethal weapons are in reality are far from
non-lethal. They can and have killed, maimed, blinded and scalped innocent
bystanders. There is a real danger that they will make conflicts more lethal
by enraging crowds and by paralysing people making them more vulnerable to
other operations by the military and security forces. In that sense these
weapons could be considered pre-lethal and actually lead to higher casualty
rates. (See above) In fact the US proponents of these weapons are under no
illusions. Their focus is ‘not to replace lethal munitions but to augment
existing and future capabilities which will provide a spectrum of force response
options.’83 The area most commentators have
not addressed is the extent that such weapons will help the military create
new roles for themselves as part of internal policing operations.

Most of the debate has been about their role in war. We know from the proceedings
of the Non Lethal Defence II conference, (organised by The American Defence
Preparedness Association held in March last year), that the that the Joint
Program Office of Special Technology Countermeasures (JPO-STC) have developed
a multi-service co-ordination strategy that incorporates both the HQ Allied
Forces of Southern Europe and the ‘Doctrine & Training HQ’ of the United
Kingdom.84 Other formal liaison links between
the USA non-lethal research community and Member States are anticipated but
little public information has emerged.

The work done so far has led to dubious weapons based on dubious research,
strongly influenced by commercial rather than humanitarian considerations.
There is a pressing need for a wide ranging debate in the European Parliament
of the humanitarian and civil liberties implications of allowing these weapons
on to European soil to become part of the technology of political control
in the EU. Much of the work that has been undertaken in secret, but part
of the bibliography of the present report covers a representative sample
of the available literature. What is required is a much more detailed assessment
of these weapons than space


permits here and it is recommended that a new study be commissioned to achieve
this work. In the meantime, it would be useful to ask for the European Commission
to report on existing liaison arrangements between Member States and the
US on Non-lethal weapons and the nature and extent of any joint activities.


(i). Informed by principle 3 of the United Nations Basic Principles on The
Use of Force & Firearms (which states that: ” the development and deployment
of non-lethal incapacitating weapons should be carefully evaluated in order
to minimise the risk of endangering uninvolved persons, and the use of such
weapons should be carefully controlled.”) and principle 4 (which require
governments to take steps to ensure that arbitrary or abusive use of force
is not used by law enforcement officers, and that force is used “only if
other means remain ineffective”), the committee should consider asking the
European Parliament to reaffirm its demand of May 1982, for a ban on the
use of plastic bullets.

(ii). In the light of last summer’s events at Drumcree in Northern Ireland,
the Committee is advised to seek confirmation from the Commission that: Member
States are fully aware of their responsibilities under Principles 3 and 4
of the United Nations Basic Principles on the Use of Force & Firearms
by Law Enforcement Officials and to ask for clarification of exactly what
steps individual Member States are taking to ensure that these are fully
met as the power of “less-lethal weapons” changes and whether consistent
standards apply.

(iii). The European Parliament should be asked to establish objective criteria
for assessing the biomedical effects of so called non-lethal weapons that
are independent from existing commercial or governmental research undertaken
to-date. It is also recommended that further research is commissioned on
the range and types of technologies which have been developed by the US
non-lethal doctrine so far, together with an assessment of their anticipated
and unforeseen social and political implications.

(iv). The Commission should be requested to report on the existing liaison
arrangements for the second generation of non-lethal weapons to enter European
Union from the USA and call for an independent report on their alleged safety
as well as their intended and unforeseen social and political effects. During
the interim period, deployment by the police, the military or paramilitary
special forces, of US made or licensed chemical irritant, kinetic, acoustic,
laser, electromagnetic frequency, capture, entanglement, injector or electrical
disabling and paralysing weapons, should be prohibited within Europe.

(v). The European Parliament should: (a) Note the biased research on Peppergas
(OC) undertaken by corrupt FBI officials and the continuing use of FBI safety
assurances in other countries on the basis of this flawed research; (b) Call
for a ban on Peppergas (OC) deployment or usage within EU Member States,
until new independent research on OC is undertaken.

(vi). That all research on chemical irritants should be published in open
scientific journals before authorization for any usage is permitted and that
the safety criteria for such chemicals should be treated as if they were
drugs rather than riot control agents.

(vii). Research on the alleged safety of existing crowd control weapons and
of all future innovations in crowd control weapons should be placed in the
public domain prior to any decision towards deployment.



Some of the equipment described above, such as the surveillance, area denial,
surveillance and crowd control technologies, also finds a ready use inside
permanent prisons and houses of correction. Other devices such as the area
denial, perimeter fencing systems such as portable coils of razor wire, prison
transport vehicles with mini cage cells, and tagging equipment are used to
create temporary holding centres.

Permanent prisons are however, literally custom built control environments,
where every act and thing, including the architecture, the behaviour of the
prison officers and daily routines, are functionally organised with that
purpose in mind. Therefore many of the technologies discussed above are built
in to the prison structure and integral to policing systems used to contain
their inmates. For example, area denial technology, intruder detection equipment
and surveillance devices are instrumental in hermetically sealing high security
prisons. Everything from electronically operated prison gates and cell doors,
to razor wire and video surveillance on the perimeter walls, serve this end.

If disturbances develop within a prison, the riot technologies and tactics
outlined above, are also available for use by prison officers. The trend
has been to train specialized MUFTI (Minimum Force Tactical Intervention
) squads for this purpose. Outside Europe, irritant gas has been used not
only to crush revolt but also to punish political
detainees,85 or to eject reticent prisoners
from their cells before execution.86 Anyone
deemed to be a trouble maker may become the potential target for further
containment, the type and variety of which, depend to a large extent on the
prevailing norms and political climate. Thus physical restraint equipment
covers a range from straitjackets and body-belts at one end of the spectrum
to thumbcuffs and leg shackles at the other. Recently, the International
Observatory on Prisons criticized Spain’s so called Register of Special Treatment
Prisoners held in solitary confinement for prolonged periods and said this
could be infringing the European Convention against

Other approaches include special stripped and padded cells, segregated units
which have been used Inverness in Scotland to form a cage within a
cage;88 isolation units like the now abandoned
system used at Wakefied Jail;89 the Tote Trakt
cells used to imprison the Bader Meinhof gang in Germany, which were designed
to mimic sensory deprivation; or entire blocks of segregated isolation cells
like the 750 Security Housing Units and 3,000 maximum security cells run
by the California House of Corrections department at the punitive warehousing
prison at Pelican Bay.90 The Pelican Bay complex
is a good example of where a lack of proper accountability can bring widespread
systematic abuse, even if the prison is one of the most modern. In 1995,
Judge Thelton E. Henderson said the prison was one of the most abusive and
that prison officers not only ignored the abuses but “also followed a management
strategy that permitted the use of excessive force for the purpose of management
and deterrence.” The Judge informed the Federal District Court of guards
who assaulted prisoners in cells with batons, high voltage taser guns, chained
them up for hours in “fetal restraints” with their wrists bound to their
ankles for 22 hours a day.91

Apart from mechanical restraint, prison authorities also have access to
pharmacological approaches for immobilising inmates, colloquially known as
‘the liquid cosh.’ These vary from psychotropic drugs such as anti-depressants,
sedatives and tranquilliser to powerful hypnotics. Drugs like largactil or
Seranace offer the chemical equivalent of a strait jacket and their usage
is becoming increasingly controversial as prison populations rise and larger
numbers on inmates are ‘treated’. In the United States, the trend for punishment
to become therapy reaches its apotheosis with ‘behaviour modification’ which
uses Pavlovian reward and


punishment routines to recondition behaviour. Drugs like anectine, (a curare
derivative), which produce either fear or pain, are used in aversion therapy.
In prisons, the possibilities of testing new social control drugs are extensive,
whilst actual controls are few. Houses of correction form the new laboratories
for developing the next generation of drugs for social reprogramming, whilst
the pharmacology laboratories of both the universities and the military provide
scores of new psychoactive drugs each

Way back in the 1970’s, J.A. Meyer of the US Defence Department suggested
a countrywide network of transceivers for monitoring all prisoners on parole,
via an irremovable transponder.93 The idea was
that parolees movements could be continuously checked and the system would
facilitate certain areas or hours to be out of bounds, whilst having the
economic advantage of cutting down on the costs of clothing and feeding the
prisoner. If prisoners go missing, the police can automatically home in on
their last position. The system came into operation use in America in the
mid 1980’s when some private prisons started to operate a transponder based
parole system.94 The system has now spread into
Canada and Europe where it is known as electronic tagging. Whilst the logic
of tagging is difficult to resist, critics have argued that whilst tagging
carries the promise of being an effective alternative to prison, a look at
the criminological literature, this assertion is questionable.(MacMahon,
1996). The clientele appears not to be offenders who would have been imprisoned
but rather low risk offenders who are most likely to be released into the
community anyway. Because of this, the system is not cheaper since the
authorities gain the added expense of supplying monitoring devices to offenders
who would have been released anyway. Electronic tagging is however beneficial
to the companies who sell such systems. Tagging also has a profitable role
inside prisons in the U.S. and in some prisons, notably, DeKalb County Jail
near Atlanta, all prisoners are bar coded. (Christie, 1993, p. 96)

Critics such as Lilly & Knepper (1992, 186-7) argue that in examining
the international aspects of crime control as industry, more attention is
needed to the changing activities of the companies which used to provide
supplies to the military. At the end of the cold war, “with defence contractors
reporting declines in sales, the search for new markets is pushing corporate
decision making, it should be no surprise to see increased corporate activity
in criminal justice.” Where such companies previously profited from wars
with foreign enemies, they are increasingly turning their energy to the new
opportunities afforded by crime control as industry.(Christie, 1994).
Increasingly in the U.S, we witness the trend toward private prisons and
the critical issue here is can the privatisation of prison control create
a rehabilitation process if its dominant raison d’etre is profit from control
systems and hence cost cutting.

Many European countries are now experiencing a rapid process of privatisation
of prisons by corporate conglomerations, predominantly from the USA. Many
of the prisons run by these organisations in the US have cultures and control
techniques which are alien to European traditions. Such a process of
privatisation can lead to a bridgehead for importing U.S. corrections mentality,
methods and technologies into Europe and there is a pressing need to ensure
a consensus on what constitutes acceptable practice. There is a further danger
that such privatisation will lead to cost cutting practices of human warehousing,
rather than the more long term beneficial practice of prisoner rehabilitation.

In some European countries, particularly Britain, where changes in penal
policy are leading to a rapid rise in prison population without additional
resources being applied to the sector, the imperative is to cut costs either
through using technology or by privatising
prisons.95 Already, the UK Prison Service has
compiled a shopping list of computer based options with existing CCTV
surveillance systems being complemented by geophones, identity


recognition technology and forward looking infra-red systems which can spot
weapons and drugs.96 Alongside such proactive
technologies, UK prisons will face increasing pressure to tool up for trouble.
Much this weaponry including the contract for between £950,000 and
£2,500,000 of side handled batons, kubotans, riot shields etc. made
by the Prison Service in March 1995, are likely to be originally manufactured
in the United States.97

The U.S.A adopts a far more militarised prison regime than anywhere in Europe
outside of Northern Ireland. A massive prison industrial complex has mushroomed
to maintain the strict control regimes that typify American Houses of Correction.
The future prospect is of that alien technology coming here, with very little
in the way of public or parliamentary debate. A few examples of US prison
technologies and proliferation illustrate the dangers.

Many US prisons now use peppergas. The Department of Justice and every Federal
Court that has looked at its use in correctional facilities has found abuses.
For example at the privately run West Tennessee Detention Facility, prison
guards pumped peppergas into two dormitories seized by
inmates.98 In late 1994, the Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division, investigated a County Jail in Syracuse, New York,
and reported “an unacceptably high and improper use of pepperspray . . .
Nearly every inmate told of excessive and improper use . . . particularly
when inmates are not resistant and after the inmate has been restrained and
presents no danger.” One suicidal inmate in Syracuse was restrained with
three cans of pepperspray and died shortly afterwards of positional
asphyxia.99 In the US, Federal Laboratories
are already marketing a remote control systems (TG Guard), which can
automatically dispense peppergas through specific zones in a prison complex
from a remote firing location.100 (See Fig.

Many prisons in the U.S, use Nova electronic 50,000 volt extraction shields,
electronic stun prods and most recently the REACT remote controlled stunbelts.
In 1994, the US Federal Bureau of Prisons decided to use remote-controlled
stunbelts on prisoners considered dangerous to prevent them from escaping
during transportation and court appearances. By May 1996, the Wisconsin
Department of Corrections said that no longer will inmates be chained together
“but will be restrained by the use of stunbelts and individual restraints.”
Stun Tech of Cleveland Ohio has said that it wants to see its stunbelts
introduced into the chain gang programs of Alabama, Florida and Louisiana.
In fact by 1996, it was reported that the US Marshals service and over 100
county agencies have obtained such belts as well as 16 state correctional
agencies including Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia,
Kansas, Ohio and Washington (Amnesty International, 1997).

Stun Tech literature claims that its high pulse stunbelt can be activated
from 300 feet. After a warning noise, the Remote Electronically Activated
Control Technology (REACT) belt inflicts a 50,000 volt shock for 8 seconds.
This high pulsed current enters the prisoners left kidney region then enters
the body of the victim along for example blood channels and nerve pathways.
Each pulse results in a rapid body shock extending to the whole of the brain
and central nervous system. The makers promote the belt “for total psychological
supremacy . . . of potentially troublesome prisoners.” Stunned prisoners
lose control of the bladders and bowels. “After all, if you were wearing
the contraption around your waist that by the mere push of a button in someone’s
hand, could make you defecate or urinate yourself, what would you do from
the psychological standpoint?”101 Amnesty
International wants Washington to ban the belts because they can be used
to torture, and calls them, “cruel, inhuman and degrading.” Some officials
say the belts can save money because fewer guards would be needed. But human
rights activists and some jailers oppose them as the most degrading new measure
in an increasingly barbaric field.” (Kilborn,1997) Already, some European
countries are in the process of evaluating stunbelt systems for use here.
(Marks, 1996)


The U.S. Federal Bureau of Prisons is responsible for a prison population
of some 101,000 inmates experiencing according to their Chief of Security,
Jim Mahan, a 25% overcrowding effect within the 81 feral prisons across the
U.S.A. An additional 17 new facilities are under construction and 10 others
will be privatised. As a result of rising tensions within US jails and the
need to respond, the Federal Bureau of Prisons has become a formal part of
the new research programme on less-lethal weapons. Disturbance control squads
are specialised units used in US jails to quell riots and Mahan identified
future needs in term of (a) aqueous foams; (b) containment nets; (c)
anti-traction devices; (d) aesthetic darts/pellets; (e) chemical area dispensers;
(f) noise weapons such as acoustic generators; (g) infra-ultrasound; (h)
low energy lasers; (i) optical munitions in addition to the kinetic energy,
chemical and electrical weapons they now

Without proper licensing and a clear consensus on what is expected from private
prisons in Europe, multinational private prison conglomerations could act
as a bridgehead for similar sorts of technology to enter the European crime
control industry. Proper limits need to be set when a licence is granted
with a comprehensive account taken of that company’s past track record in
terms of civil liberties, rehabilitation and crisis management rather than
just cost per prisoner held.


The Committee should ask the Commission to:

(i). Ensure that the UN Minimum treatment of prisoners rules banning the
use of leg irons on prisoners are implemented in all EU correctional facilities.

(ii). Implement a ban on the introduction of inbuilt gassing systems inside
European gaols on the basis of the manufacturers warnings of the dangers
of using chemical riot control agents in enclosed spaces. Restrictions should
also be made on the use of chemical irritants from whatever source in
correctional facilities wherever research has shown that a concentration
of that irritant could either kill or be associated with permanent damage
to health.

(iii). Ensure that all private prison operations within the European Union
should be subject to a common and consistent licensing regime by the host
member. No licence should be granted where proven human rights violations
by that contractor have been made elsewhere. Any failure to secure a licence
in one European state should debar that private prison contractor from bidding
for other European contracts (pending evidence of adequate human rights training
and appropriate improvements in standard operating procedures and controls
by that corporation or company).

(iv). Seek agreement between all Member States to ensure that:

(a) All riot control, prisoner transport and extraction technology which
is in use or proposed for use in all prisons, (whether state or privately
run), should be subject to prior approval by the competent member authorities
on the basis of independent research;

(b) Automated systems of indiscriminate punishment such as built in baton
round firing mechanisms. should be prohibited.

(c). The use of electroshock restraining devices or other remote control
punishment devices including shock- shields should be immediately suspended
in any private or public prison in the European Union, until and unless
independent medical evidence


can clearly demonstrate that their use will not contribute to deaths in custody,
torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

(v) The European Parliament should be requested to establish a rigorous
independent and impartial inquiry into the use of stun belts, stunguns and
shields, and all other types and variants of electroshock weapons in Member
States, to assess their medical and other effects in terms of international
human rights standards regulating the treatment of prisoners and the use
of force; the inquiry should examine all known cases of deaths or injury
resulting from the use of these instruments, and the results of the inquiry
should be published without delay

(vi). Prohibit the use of kill fencing and lethal area denial systems in
any prison whether private or public, within the European Union.


Millennia of research and development have been expended in devising ever
more cruel and inhumane means of extracting obedience and information from
reluctant victims or achieving excruciatingly painful and long-drawn-out
deaths for those who would question or challenge the prevalent status quo.
What has changed in more recent times is (i) the increasing requirement for
speed in breaking down prisoners’ resistance; (ii) the adoption of sophisticated
methods based on a scientific approach and (iii) a need for invisible torture
which leaves no or few marks which might be used by organisations like Amnesty
International to label a particular government, a torturing
state.103 According to Amnesty, there is also
an increasing trend for torture and ill treatment to directed at common criminal
suspects and social ‘underdogs’ such as immigrants and members of racial
minorities (Forrest, 1996). Today, the phenomena of torture has grown to
a worldwide epidemic. A report by the Redress Trust in 1995, found that 151
countries were involved in torture, inhuman or degrading treatment (Fig.
38), despite the fact that 106 states have ratified, acceded to or signed
the Convention Against Torture.104

The advent of modern torture technique can be traced back to the Russian
NKVD, which used sensory deprivation and multiple levels of brutality to
induce stress before ‘conveyor’style questioning by relays of interrogators
for days on end, thereby industrialising state terror. These approaches had
the dual requirement of extracting information and breaking down personality
in order to elicit public confessions as the era of the ‘show trial’ opened
up.105 There is a continuum between such coerced
confessions and torture.106

These techniques can themselves be regarded as part of an evolving technology
which can be further researched and developed before being transferred elsewhere.
Again, like all the technology of political control, torture technology has
three components, hardware, software and liveware (the human elements), which
are all woven together to form manipulative programmes of socio-political
control. The hardware can include both modern and medieval prisoner restraining,
disabling and repressive technologies, for example leg shackles, thumbcuffs,
and suspension equipment, which despite being prohibited by Rule 33 of the
United Nations Standard Minimum Rules For the Treatment of Prisoners(United
Nations, 1955),107 are still being
manufactured(Fig. 39 & Fig. 40);108 it
also encompasses blunt trauma-inducing drugs (e.g. Aminazin, apomorphine,
curare, suxamethonium, haloperidol, insulin, sulfazin, triftazin, tizertsin,
sanapax, etaperazin, phrenolong, trisedil, mazjeptil, seduksin and motiden-depo
(Plate and Darvi, 1981). After World War II, the USA, for example, undertook
considerable research on the use of drugs for obtaining intelligence from
interrogees independent from their volition, for example, project
Chatter.109 This research was expanded during
the Korean War and included laboratory experiments on animals and


humans using Anabasis aphylla, scoplamin and mescaline in order to determine
their speech inducing qualities. Overseas experiments were conducted as part
of the project.”110 The CIA later expanded
this work in what became known as Projects Bluebird and Artichoke. A whole
series of projects were then initiated under Projects MKDELTA and MKULTRA
which were concerned with “the research and development of chemical, biological
and radiological materials capable for employment in clandestine operations
to control human behaviour.”111 Much of the
CIA work on behaviour modification was later adapted towards less-lethal
disabling chemicals.112 More recently, Spain
has been accused of using vagrants to test the use of anaesthetic drugs to
make it easier for the security forces to kidnap guerillas of the Basque
separatist organisation ETA.113

7.1 Torture Hardware

Other torture hardware includes electroshock weapons, electrically heated
hot tables, whips, iron-chain filled rubber hoses, cat-o’-nine-tails, clubs,
canes, specially designed torture devices and interrogation rooms using white
noise (Fig. 41) (Sweeney 1991a and 1991b) and stroboscopic UV light (New
, 1973). Much of this equipment is home made but some of the
newer technologies are purpose built and may be used by successive law
enforcement agencies after one torturing regime is replaced by another. For
example, the ‘Apollo machine’ which was devised by SAVAK, the Shah’s secret
police in Iran (it delivered an electric shock to sensitive parts of the
body, while a steel helmet covered prisoners’ heads to amplify their screams),
was also used by the succeeding regime’s religious police. (Mather,1982)

Helen Bamber, Director of the British Medical Foundation for the Treatment
of the Victims of Torture, has described electroshock batons at ‘the most
universal modern tool of the torturers’. (Gregory, 1995) Recent surveys of
torture victims have confirmed that after systematic beating, electroshock
is one of the most common factors (London, 1993); (Rasmussen, 1990). If one
looks at the country reports of Amnesty International, electroshock torture
is the Esperanto of the most repressive states. Many examples of its use
have been reported including Austria,114 Greece
(Council of Europe, 1994); China (Amnesty International 1992b), Ballantyne,
1992, 1995); and Saudi Arabia (Amnesty International, 1994). Amnesty
International has just published a survey of fifty countries where electric
shock torture and ill treatment has been recorded since

According to the manufacturers, the new pulsed variants of electroshock weapon
were developed in the 1980’s on the basis of biomedical research. They come
in several variants including hand held prods and batons, (Fig. 42) electrified
riot shields (Fig. 43) and electrified dart systems like the Taser (Fig.
44.). Electroshock weapons work on the induction coil principle. They are
battery powered devices which step up the voltage several thousand fold to
produce a high voltage low amperage shock that affects the victim’s muscle
control. As well as severe pain and a temporary paralysis, such weapons also
achieve a psychological effect because of the dancing display of crackling
blue lightning which traverses the electrodes of both shields and prods.

An independent survey by the UK Forensic Science Service (FSS) (commissioned
by the British Home Office), examined the possible hazardous effects of a
range of different electroshock devices on the human body (Robinson, et al.,
1990). The FSS study reported that receiving a typical discharge from an
electroshock prod up to half a second startles and repels the victim; one
to two seconds and the victim loses the ability to stand up; three to five
seconds and loss of skeletal muscle control is total and immobilization occurs.
The effect can last for between five and fifteen minutes. The FSS study also
reported that modern pulsed electroshock weapons are more powerful than the
old fashioned cattle prods by nearly two


orders of magnitude.

Portable electrified riot shields have been manufactured since the mid-1980’s
for prisoner capture and control. They comprise a transparent polycarbonate
plate through which metal strips are interlaced. A button activated induction
coil in the handle sends 40,000 – 100,000 volts arcing across the metal strips,
accompanied by intermittent indigo flashing sparks and an intimidating crackle
as the air between the electrodes is ionized. They work by charging up and
then instantly discharging a capacitor, to produce a chain of high impulse
shocks. A sales video shows how the victim can be instantaneously thrown
to the ground on impact, completely incapacitated.

Manufacturers’ claims that these products are “safe” are open to interpretation.
Deaths have been reported from both
Tasers116 and from shock
shields.117 One of the key experts used by
manufacturers of electroshock weapons to justify claims of the generic safety
of these devices has refuted such an
interpretation.118 There is also the need to
take into account the political context in which many of these weapons are
used since push button torture may be just one methodology applied as part
of an entire spectrum of abuse.

7.2 Torture Software

Apart from such hardware, there are also numerous standard operating procedures
which form the ‘software’ component of torture. Examples of training supplied
to authoritarian regimes include the low intensity conflict training used
to capture, stress and ‘soften up’ dissidents (Watson 1980), advisory support
and technical assistance, including teaching of scientific methods of ‘deep
interrogation’ procedures and the more brutal forms of human destruction.

Research and development in modern torture techniques and technologies has
focused upon methods which cause suffering and intimidation without leaving
much in the way of embarrassing long-term visible evidence of brutality.
However, researchers in torture rehabilitation are gradually evolving more
sophisticated methods for detecting and verifying the use of torture (Karlsmark,
et al., 1988; Rasmussen and Skylv, 1993).

A vast range of torture techniques have been
evolved.119 The names of these techniques signify
how systematized this behaviour has become. Some torturing states evolve
their own lexicon of systematized abuse. For example, in China there are
dian ji (electrical assault), gui bian (down on knees whipping), jieju (chains
and fetters), shouzhikao (finger cuffs), zhiliaio (rod fetters), menbanliao
(shackleboard) (Figs. 39, 40, & 45.) and so on, (Human Rights Watch,
1992; Amnesty International, 1992b).120 A similar
set of routinized torture techniques emerged in Latin America in the 1970’s.
(Figs. 46, 47 & 48).

The flow of modern repressive ‘technique’ includes expertise in courses on
low intensity conflict management in operations deemed to be ‘counter terror’
or operations other than war. Some of these approaches are formally
coded.121 In January 1997, for example, a CIA
‘Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual’ was released in response to
a FOIA request and detailed torture methods against suspected subversives
during the 1980’s refuting claims by the agency that no such methods were
taught there.122

Intense interrogation methodologies border on torture, particularly when
they incorporate scientific approaches based on psycho-pharmacology or sensory
deprivation, or involve levels of physical terror and softening-up processes
of intimidation which sap the will of the prisoner to resist. What has evolved
from this quest for ever more powerful techniques to break the


human spirit is a classical form of operant conditioning designed to teach
the target psyche debilitation, dependence and dread (Biderman & Zimmer,
1965). (See Chart 10). Just occasionally, hard evidence of such research
comes to light (Anon, 1993). In the case of Northern Ireland, BSSRS member
Tim Shallice was probably the first to identify a scientific methodology
at work in the pre-interrogation treatments (See Chart 11) used on detainees
in the first wave of internment introduced into Northern Ireland in 1971.
Shallice identified the real nature of the special treatment dished out to
a selected few – associating it with sensory deprivation techniques (Shallice,
1973) (See Chart 12), and an experiment where those targeted were “guinea
pigs” according to McGuffin (1974).

In Northern Ireland, the findings of pioneer sensory isolation pioneers such
as Hebb, 1958; Smith & Lensky, 1959, Lilly, 1955 and Zubek and Solomon,
et al. 1959, were modified by the British Army to create a new process of
coercive and debilitating torture which left no
marks.123 Hebb found that after leaving such
experiments, volunteers were disorientated and very suggestible to propaganda.
We can conclude that in the far more disturbing conditions of arrest, the
anxiety created by these techniques would confuse the victims’ thought processes
so much that they would fall easy prey to the bad man-good man act. The works
of Lilly, Smith and Lensky showed that among the after-effects of sensory
deprivation experiences were loss of identification, feelings of unreality
and disorientation. Fear and panic were found to be common in anyone remaining
in an environment of perceptual deprivation for more than two hours. As was
apparent from the psychological research, anything over 24 hours ‘at the
wall’ would be sufficient to induce psychotic breakdown. It has now been
established that the long term effects of such experiences are traumatic
neuroses comparable to shell shock or in modern parlance, it rapidly induced
post traumatic stress syndrome.124

We know that such approaches are designed to intimidate the wider population
rather than just to extract specific information from any one individual;
they are heuristic and can be taught to others (See McHardy, 1976 and the
Times, 1980). The parallels of the British techniques with those of
the CIA Human Resource Training Manual discussed above are striking. The
CIA manual discusses using intense fear, deep exhaustion, solitary confinement,
unbearable anxiety, standing to attention for long periods of time, sleep
and food deprivation, stripping suspects naked and keeping them blindfolded
in windowless, dark interrogation rooms with no toilet. Only in January of
1997, did the CIA formally renounce and prohibit its agents from using these
torture manuals.125 In the meantime, variants
of this methodology have appeared elsewhere, e.g., by the Palestinian Authority
which was set up in May 1994.126

Some interrogation techniques are intended to kill. For example the use of
a heavy wooden roller to crush the limbs of detainees in Kashmir. This practice
results in the release of myoglobin, heme and other related muscle proteins
and toxins (Rhabdomyolysis) which leads to acute renal failure. In the absence
of kidney dialysis, the results are
fatal.127 Other regimes have resorted to delayed
poisoning of their dissidents who die after their release from incarceration,
e.g. by the use of Thallium which was deployed against Kurds in Iraq and
most recently (according to the ongoing Truth Commission), by South Africa’s
Apartheid regime.128

7.3 Torture Liveware

In any bureaucracy of repression, there are personnel schooled in the ideological
attitudes necessary to keep such systems in operation (Fig.49). In some cases
this schooling takes place literally, for example at the infamous School
of the Americas based at Fort Benning in



General Method

Effects (Purposes)


1. Isolation. Deprives victim of all social support ofhis ability to resist. Develops and intenseconcern with self. Makes victimdependent upon interrogator. Complete solitary confinement. Complete isolations. Semi isolation.Group isolation.
2. Monopolisation ofPerception. Fixes attention upon immediatepredicament. Fosters introspection.Eliminates stimuli competing with thosecontrolled by captor. Frustrates all

action not consistent with compliance.

Physical isolation. Darkness or bright light. Barren environment.Restricted movement. Monotonous food.
3. Induced DebilityExhaustion Weakens mental and physical ability toresist. Semi-starvation. Exposure. Exploitation of wounds. Induced illness.Sleep deprivation. Prolonged constraint. Prolonged interrogation.Forced writing. Over-exertion.
4. Threats. Cultivates anxiety and despair. Threats of death. Threats of non return. Threats of endlessinterrogation and isolation. Threats against family. Vague threats.mysterious changes of treatment.
5. Occasional indulgences. Provides positive motivation forcompliance. Hinders adjustment todeprivation. Occasional favors. Fluctuations of interrogators’s attitudes.Promises. Rewards for partial compliance. Tantalising.
6. Demonstrating’Omnipotence’. Suggests futility of resistance. Confrontation. Pretending co-operation taken for granted.Demonstrating complete control over victim’s fate.
7. Degradation. Makes cost of resistance moredamaging to self esteem thancapitulation. Reduces prisoner to’animal level’ concerns. Personal hygiene prevented. Filthy infested surrounds.Demeaning punishments. Insults and taunts. Denial of privacy.
8. Enforcing TrivialDemands. Develops habits of compliance. Forced writing. Enforcement of minute rules.


Chart 10. Biderman’s Chart of Coercion




1. General assault with truncheons and knuckledusters. Kicks to testicles
and stomach. Faces slapped, ears drummed, arms twisted, chest hair pulled.
Nose, chest, mouth and throat were held. During these attacks, detainees
were alternatively threatened and bribed.

2. Men were forced to run barefoot over broken glass and stones whilst being
beaten .

3. Some men were dropped blindfold from helicopters hovering near the ground.

4. Alsatian dogs were used to savage some of the men.

5. Torturous exercises were imposed – up to 48 hours for some men.

6. Men were forced to stand against a wall for many hours with their legs

7. Detainees were repeatedly awakened as soon as they fell asleep.

8. Food and drink were withheld.

9. Bags were kept over the heads of some of the prisoners for up to six days.

10. On certain occasions an electric cattle prod was used.

11. Some victims had their testicles manually compressed.

12. Others were burned with matches and candles.

13. Detainees were urinated upon.

14. Injections of amphetamine drugs were given to some of the prisoners

15. Psychological tortures were used such as: Russian roulette; firing blanks,
blindfolding; the use of stockings and surgical masks by the assailants;
forcing men to stare at a white perforated wall in a small cubicle.






1. Prisoners were hooded before interrogation.

2. A sound machine was used to produce a constant hiss of ‘white noise’.

3. Long periods of immobilization in the ‘stoika’ position, i.e., being forced
to lean against a wall with legs wide apart standing on the toes, with only
the fingertips touching the wall. Detainees who collapsed from exhaustion
were beaten back into position.

4. Little or no food or drink.

5. Prisoners were forced to wear loose overalls several sizes too big.

6. In addition these men were deprived of sleep for days on end.

Although these processes were not technically the same as sensory deprivation,
the purpose guiding their use was the deliberate production of related effects.

Measures 1, 2, 3 and 5 cause visual, auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic
deprivation and thus mimic sensory deprivation. Measures 1, 4, and 6, deprive
the brain of the sugar and oxygen necessary for normal functioning. Measures
1, 4 and 6, may also disturb normal body metabolism. Applied together in
conditions of high physical and psychological stress, they could effect rapid
nervous breakdown.



Georgia, otherwise known at the ‘School of the Assassins’ or ‘La escuela
del golpe’ (the coup school). It has been accused of training death squads
in Guatemala and Honduras, e.g. Battalion 3-16 (Walker, 1994). In 1995, the
Baltimore Sun obtained Freedom Of Information Act documents on Battalion
3-16, (which used electroshock and rubber suffocation devices on prisoners
in Honduras), that confirmed that the Unit had been trained in interrogation
techniques by the CIA (Baltimore Sun, 11 June 1995). Last year, further
manuals were released under FOIA on Project X, part of the US Foreign
Intelligence Assistance Programme which reveal that until the 1980’s, the
US military ran an intelligence training programme in Latin America and
elsewhere, that taught foreign officers to offer bounties for captured or
killed insurgents, spy on non-violent political opponents, kidnap rebels’
family members, blackmail unwanted informants and the use of drugs to facilitate
interrogation. Project X manuals were distributed by the US Army School of
Americas but their use was stopped only in 1991 when the Defense Intelligence
Agency raised ethical and legal

Thus the creation of a bureaucracy practising systematic human rights violation
will often include external ‘liveware’, e.g., the various foreign technical
advisers, counter-insurgency and low intensity conflict strategists,
paramilitary, intelligence and internal security police as well as the ‘white
collar mercenaries’ who act as key technical operators in any administrative
policy of repression. This ‘liveware’ category includes all the people who
are conditioned by fear or training to actually put into practice the software
and hardware components of a particular policy of
repression.130 For the last decade, he export
of such ‘security’ training has become a highly profitable commercial proposition
(Gordon, 1987) and it is a characteristic of the trade in torture technology
and expertise that it has become so intensely privatised (Klare and Arnson,
1981). Such technologies are now entering Europe from the USA.

7.4 International Controls On The Export Of electroshock & Stun Technology

In theory, a substantial body of international human rights obligations should
effectively prevent such transfers, including: the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights; Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political
Rights; Article 5 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights; Article
5 of the American Convention on Human Rights; Article 3 of the European
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental freedoms; UN
Convention Against Torture; the UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and
Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials and the UN Standard Minimum Rules For
the Treatment of Prisoners. Yet in January 1995, it was possible for a UK
investigative reporter working for UK Channel 4 Dispatches, to obtain the
enthusiastic willingness of several British companies to supply such devices,
which are in fact banned under UK law (Gregory 1995).

7.5 The European Torture Trail

Until the Channel 4 Programme, ‘The Torture Trail’ was shown, it was not
widely realized that such an extensive European electroshock manufacturing
and supply base existed. Undercover TV actors were given privileged access
to a secret network of companies making electroshock weapons and to come
away with orders worth over £3 million (consisting of 10,000 electroshock
shields and 5000 shock batons from British Aerospace (BAe) and 15,000
electroshock units from ICL Technical Plastics). But perhaps the insights
this programme gave into the procurement and proliferation of electro-control
technology is even more astonishing. Philip Morris, the Sales Manager for
Royal Ordnance, agreed to use the Royal Ordnance’s worldwide procurement
network to bring the electroshock deal together, irrespective of the equipment’s
country of origin or its eventual destination; Ordnance would organise the
whole package. Royal Ordnance’s parent company, invited their clients to
meet up at the secretive


Covert Operation & Procurement Exhibition (COPEX), held at Sandown Park
racecourse In November 1994. A wide range of internal security was on display.
Foreign invitees included delegations from China, Algeria, Bosnia-Herzegovina,
Colombia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Turkey.

The Dispatches team followed through that rendezvous with a meeting at the
Royal Ordnances own offices in Lancashire, where they were shown a 40,000-volt
shock baton made in Eire, together with an electronic riot shield made in
Tennessee, USA, by Nova Technologies, which could immobilise 120 people without
a battery change. While the deal was struck, Royal Ordnance made an extraordinary
confession, that they had sold 8000 german electroshock batons as part of
the Al Yamamah deal to Saudi Arabia.131

A further insight into the complicity of companies involved in this business
was afforded by the programme’s interview with the manager of ICL Technical
Plastics in Glasgow, Frank Stott.132 He claimed
that he used to sell shock batons to the apartheid regime in South Africa,
and to Abu Dhabi for the Gulf States; and a year after the Tiananmen Square
massacre, he sold electric-shock weapons to the Chinese authorities via Hong,
with the UK government’s blessing, and said that the trip was supported by
the Department of Trade & Industry. Mr. Stott claimed that the Chinese
had an ulterior motive for buying his electroshock weapons: they wanted to
copy them. (China has a prodigious electroshock weapon manufacturing industry
(for example, the Tianjin Bohai Radio Works manufactures 80,000 shock instruments
a year – all quality controlled (Fig. 50). It is instructive to note that
one of the products photographed in China for this programme, an extending
electroshock probe (See Fig. 51), has been awarded a British patent (no.


(i). New regulations on the nature of in-depth interrogation training should
be agreed which prohibit export of such techniques to forces overseas known
to be involved in gross human rights violation.

(ii). All training of foreign military, police, security and intelligence
forces in interrogation techniques, should be subject to licence, even if
it is provided outside European territory .

(iii). Restrictions on visits to European MSP related events by representatives
of known torturing states should be effectively implemented.

(iv) The Commission should be requested to achieve agreement between member
States to:

(a) immediately prohibit the transfer of all electroshock stun weapons to
any country where such weapons are likely to contribute to unlawful killings,
or to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, for example by refusing
any export licence where it is proposed that electroshock weapons will be
transferred to a country where persistent torture or instances of instances
of electric shock torture and ill treatment have been reported;

b) introduce and implement new regulations on the manufacture, sale and transfer
of all electroshock weapons from and into Europe, with a full report to the
European Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee made each year. [Special
consideration should be given to controlling the whole procurement process,
covering even the making of contracts of sale, (to prevent a purchase deal
made in a European country being met by a supplier or subsidiary outside
of the EU, in an effort to obviate extant controls)].


(c). Ensure that the proposed regulations should cover patents and prohibit
the patenting of any device whose sole use would be the violation of human
rights, via torture or the creation of unnecessary suffering. The onus should
be on the patent seeker to show that his patent would not lead to such outcomes.

(v) The European Parliament should look at commissioning new work to investigate
how existing legislation within member states of the EU, can be brought to
bear to prosecute companies who have been complicity in the supply of equipment
used for torture as defined by the UN convention of torture. This new work
should examine, in conjunction with the Directorate of Human Rights:

(a) The extent to which such technology produced by European companies is
being transferred to human rights violators and the role played by international
military, police and security fairs organised both inside and outside European

(b) The possible measures that could be set in place to monitor and track
any technology transfer within this category and any potential role in this
endeavour that might be played by recognised Non-Governmental Organisations.


The last Gulf War was in many ways an exception to the changing character
of political conflict. With the end of the Cold War, the future lies increasingly
in a bewildering array of separatist and counter-insurgency wars; border
disputes; ethnic and religious violence; coups d’etat; national security
and counter-revolutionary operations – what the military once called “low
intensity conflicts” and now call “operations other than war.” Civil conflicts
in Somalia, Kashmir, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, the former Soviet Union,
the former Yugoslavia, South Korea and most recently, Albania, being cases
in point.

8.1 The European Trade in Repression

Many of the major arms companies also have a paramilitary/internal security
operation and diversification into these markets, is increasingly taking
place. Weapons specifically designed to quell dissent are incredibly cheap
compared to their major warfare counterparts like ships, aircraft and tanks,
and have the market advantage of being used almost continuously against the
enemy within. The move into a post-Cold War world has been accompanied by
a change in the nature of warfare. Military scientists are on the threshold
of dramatic weapons and technologies destined to transform internal political
control. The clients most enthusiastically seeking this technology are the
torturing states outlined in Figure 38. In those contexts we can accurately
describe the technology of political control, as technology of repression
and identify exports of these commodities as a repression

NGO’s like Amnesty International, have begun to catalogue the trade in
specialised military, security and police technologies, to measure its impact
on industrialising repression, globalising conflict, undermining democracy
and strengthening the security forces of torturing states to create a new
generation of political prisoners, extra-judicial killings and ‘disappearances’.
(Amnesty International, 1996). The key issue for Members of the European
Parliament is how they will deal with the human and political fall out of
what is a systemic process of exporting repression: either importing a tidal
wave of dispossessed refugees, or keeping them in desperation at the borders
of Europe. In the longer term, it is important to


examine the role and function of specific technologies in crushing dissent
and to analyze the trade in repression and its correlates in terms of human
displacement – huge numbers of nonpersons which some country must import.
Such refugees will themselves become targets for further political control
and exclusion in the newly moulded Fortress Europe, now well on the way to
putting whole societies under surveillance, in an effort to deny them permanent
residence. The export of the technology of political control and the flow
of refugees must be understood as part of the same process. There is an urgent
need for greater transparency and democratic control of such exports and
a clearer recognition of their frequent linkage with gross human rights
violations in their recipient states.

As discussed above, this arsenal of control includes area denial technologies
such as razor wire to seal off selected zones, surveillance, telephone and
fax tapping networks used to track dissidents; computerised communications,
command and control systems linked to data banks and remote terminals(in
security vehicles, border checkpoints etc.); automatic vehicle recognition
and tracking equipment; riot technology including whips, sawn-off shotguns,
incapacitating and less-lethal weapons, such as water cannon, stun grenades,
multi-shot riot guns, plastic bullets, chemical irritants, injector weapons,
sound, light and electromagnetic zapping technologies; pre-fragmented exploding
ammunition, dum-dum bullets, stroboscopic cameras which can photograph every
participant in a demonstration in seconds; helicopter mounted crowd monitoring
equipment; public order vehicles; identity recognition systems; silenced
sub-machine guns and assassination rifles; precision laser and night target
acquisition aids; prison and restraining technologies as well as blunt trauma
inducing drugs and specially designed implements of torture.

To many of the suppliers attending the specialised paramilitary, police and
security fairs, the answer to the question would you sell your equipment
to countries on the Redress Trust s map of the torturing states (Fig. 38),
would be a resounding yes please’ In fact MSP technologies are aggressively
marketed at a series of special fairs and exhibitions which take place all
over the world (See Appendix 1.) Potential customers get an opportunity to
sample the latest wares. (Fig. 52) Weapons are sometimes on display that
are banned for use in many European states (Fig. 53) and some clue is afforded
to the dynamics behind proliferation and conversion of these technologies
as European Fairs organisers target other continents such as Latin America.
(Fig. 54). Equipment on display at such fairs one month sometimes finds a
ready application on the streets soon after. (Fig. 55) At Turkey’s IDEF
exhibition, European gas back packs were on display (Fig. 56) as well as
a flypast by the UK flying team the Red Arrows, British licensed production
internal security vehicles were exhibited alongside Russian helicopter attack
gunships. (Fig. 57)

In the wake of growing evidence that MSP transfers from the European Union
have contributed to the deliberate and indiscriminate killing of civilians,
disappearances, torture, and ill treatment on a mass scale, there is widespread
public disquiet at the apparent inaction of the governments of the European
Union to address this concern.135 A few examples
examining the MSP transfers to just two human rights violating countries
are sufficient to illustrate the nature of this trade, i.e., European companies
based in:- Austria136;
Denmark138; Finland139;
Sweden145; & the
UK146; exporting MSP supplies to Indonesia;
or European companies based in Belgium147;
Netherlands151; and the
UK152; exporting MSP goods to Turkey.

Similarly, many companies in the UK; Belgium: Switzerland; Germany; Austria;
Sweden and Finland are arranging licensed production through joint ventures
with companies in third countries. For example:Land
Rover153; GKN
Defence154(UK); FN Nouvelle


Heckler &Koch156(Germany);
Steyr-Mannlicher157(Austria); FFV
Ordnance158(Sweden); PT
Pindad159(Indonesia) and
Pilatus160(Switzerland). These arrangements
have the effect of circumventing European or Member State strategic export

8.2 European Electroshock Weapon Exports

Pierre Sane, Secretary General of Amnesty International, speaking on ‘The
Torture Trail’ called for all governments to investigate and to put in place
new mechanisms, such as public disclosure in advance, to halt the trade in
electroshock equipment which use it to torture. In response to the disclosures
on the programme the European Parliament made a resolution on the 19 January
1995, which called on the Commission to bring forward proposals to incorporate
these technologies within the scope of the arms export controls and ensure
greater transparency in the export of all military, security and police
technologies to prevent the hypocrisy of governments who themselves breach
their own export bans.(Doc

The ineffectiveness of any action subsequently taken can be judged by the
fact that the same team of TV researchers returned to the torture trail in
1996 and found it was very much business as usual. Despite the furor created
by the first Dispatches Torture Trail programme, on their second expedition
‘Back On The Torture Trail’ the undercover team found that of the eight British
companies contacted only two were unwilling to quote for a new order of 300
electroshock batons. The most enthusiastic companies featured in this programme
were not put off by the fact that the intended destination was Zaire. None
of the companies featured bothered to check out the fake company’s bona fides.
In fact they were faxing their quotations to a public fax bureau machine
at a railway station in Switzerland. Some of these companies said they could
get around legal restrictions by transhipping them so that they would not
enter the UK and seemed well rehearsed in getting around European restrictions.
For example, SDMS’s chairman said that they and their South African associates
had previously sold electroshock products to Libya, Nigeria, Sierra Leone,
Angola, Mexico, Peru, Burma & Indonesia. Another company offered to avoid
export regulation by selling Dispatches undercover research team, 300 shock
batons made by the Macoisa company of Mexico City at a cost of $25,000. Macoisa’s
boss, Alfredo Aguilla, told the undercover team he could export the 40,000
volt batons on behalf of his British client anywhere they chose. Aguilla
told the programme’s producer that bad human rights record were no

‘Back to the Torture Trail’ marked a turning point in human rights organisations
understanding of the implications of loopholes in existing strategic exports
controls legislation. Speaking in the programme, the Secretary Of Amnesty
International, Pierre Sane said: “It is not just good enough to prohibit
the manufacture of this equipment in the UK, or the sale or possession of
this equipment in the UK. Legislation should also prohibit companies from
engaging in offshore sale of this equipment (Gregory, 1996).

8.3 Export Of Implements of Torture From The U.S.A.

Sadly, it no longer comes as a surprise to discover that other leading Western
Liberal Democracies have been colluding with the torture trade. Yet during
the 1980’s some clues were afforded by reports that US companies such as
Technipol were freely advertising thumbcuffs, leg irons and shackles (Klare
& Amson, 1981). The Danish Medical Group of Amnesty found that electronic
prods manufactured by the US Shok-Baton Company had been used in the violation
of human rights,163 and a repentant Uruguayan
torturer confessed that he had used US-made electroshock batons.(Cooper,
1984).164 In fact scores of US companies either
manufacture or supply electroshock devices, thumbcuffs and leg


Chart 13. Police torture exports licensed by

US Commerce Department 1991 – 1993

Recipient    no./value of licenses  no./value of licenses  Recipient      no./value of licenses   no./value of licenses
              for cmdty. OA82C1       for cmdty. OA84C1                     for cmdty. OA82C1        for cmdty. OA84C1
____________________________________________________  _______________________________________________________

ALGERIA 1/$35 2/$370 LITHUANIA 7/$453,593
ANDORRA 1/$37,500 7/$704,552 MACAO 3/$4,619 4/$3,220
ARGENTINA 26/$7,367,559 104/$10,041,640 MALAYSIA 3/$660,123 16/$150,519
AUSTRALIA (2) 5/$91,408 MALTA 1/$1,778
AUSTRIA 11/$448,068 78/$3,996,467 MEXICO 33/$1,755,366 34/$3,157,455
BAHAMAS 3/$9,978 MONTSERRAT 1/$1,710
BAHRAIN 1/$1,527 MOZAMBIQUE 1/$2,435
BANGLADESH 3/$90 6/$15,704 NEPAL 2/$579
BARBADOS 8/$13,224 THE NETHERLANDS (2) 1/$3,232
BELGIUM (2) 4/$1,312,394 NETH. ANTILLES 1/$3,969 8/$35,228
BELIZE 1/$5,037 8/$18,824 NEW CALEDONIA 11/$30,021
BENIN 1/$1,371 NICARACUA 14/$591,478
BERMUDA 1/$3,112 NIGERIA 3/$2,428,710 6/$89,625
BOLIVIA 9/$655,845 25/$1,084.933 NORWAY 1/$306 7/$76,967
BOTSWANA 3/$7,255 OMAN 3/$7,449 1/$467
BRAZIL 48/$252,334 PAKISTAN 2/$2,759,234 37/$7,069,539
BULGARIA 10/$566,428 PANAMA 11/$111,794 58/$1,566,633
CHILE 20/$260,908 40/$1,208,813 PAPUA NEW GUINEA 5/$33,313 10/$64,417
CHINA 1/$32,250 PARAGUAY 3/$66,000 57/$2,875,177
COLOMBIA 2/$65,500 18/$949,543 PERU 1/$12,881 27/$2,300,885
COSTA RICA 12/$114,624 27/$488,122 PHILIPPINES 1/$37,500 41/$3,865,650
CYPRUS 2/$140 4/$18,749 POLAND 2/$659,332 7/$550,404
CZECH REPUBLIC 2/$47,090 7/$68,025 QATAR 1/$49 4/$167,875
DOMINICA 5/$40,489 ROMANIA 6/$130,128
DOM. REPUBLIC 6/$144,740 90/$1,070,584 RUSSIA 39/$7,349,121
ECUADOR 11/$315,016 63/$1,111,575 RWANDA 1/$404
EGYPT 4/$1,190 4/$8,041 SAUDI ARABIA 14/$5,060,804 14/$5,478,476
EL SALVADOR 66/$707,171 SEYCHELLES 1/$79
ESTONIA 7/$1,704,997 SINGAPORE 7/$5,589 25/$433,443
FINLAND 5/$22,714 52/$2,895,730 SLOVAKIA 1/$270,000
FRANCE (2) 4/$88,237 SLOVENIA 1/$8,934 1/$125,000
FRENCH GUIANA 2/$120,000 SOUTH AFRICA 7/$837,991
THE GAMBIA 2/$2,100 SPAIN (2) 1/$18,379
GEORGIA 1/$210,500 SRI LANKA 1/$9,663
GERMANY (2) 3/$42,925 SURINAM 7/$32,589
GHANA 2/$22,200 12/$1,174,602 SWEDEN 4/$8,911 77/$9,419,883
GRENADA 1/$726 SWITZERLAND 13/$444,243 93/$4,441,647
GUATEMALA 6/$170,771 55/$2,531,484 TAIWAN 1/$6,990
GUINEA 1/$11,500 2/$195,201 TANZANIA 2/$2,005
GUYANA 9/$9,750 THAILAND 3/$396,714 135/$6,134,985
HONDURAS 4/$121,588 TRINIDAD & TOBAGO 5/$17,568 21/$29,651
HONG KONG 7/$49,646 49/$1,265,271 TUNISIA 4/$39,043
HUNGARY 3/$358,500 12/$1,159,371 TURKEY (2) 2/$154,000
ICELAND (2) 1/$540 UAE 2/$21,062 14/$531,261
INDONESIA 3/$7,076 4/$36,201 UGANDA 1/$1,293
IRAN 1/$219 UKRAINE 5/$2,253,875
IRELAND 15/$214,821 UNITED KINGDOM (2) 5/$50,387
ISRAEL 21/$160,189 41/$3,689,794 URUGUAY 3/$48,443 48/$1,449,694
ITALY (2) 2/$105,500 VENEZUELA 51/$1,609,012 220/$9,691,215
JAMAICA 11/$110,151 ZAMBIA 1/$3,668
JORDAN 3/$12,400 9/$329,300 ZIMBABWE 8/$20,988
KENYA 1/$2,988 _____________________________________________________
KOREA (SOUTH) 9/$362,666 10/$592,982 TOTALS 365/$27,638,035 2083/$117,270,285
KUWAIT 9/$785,283 13/$767,114
KAZAKHSTAN 24/$3,831,270 Notes: (1) For explanation of the commodity categories see p. 1.
LATVIA 2/$304,082 (2) Australia, Japan, New Zealand and NATO members do not require
LEBANON 1/$28,140 2/$11,518 validated licences to import commodity 0A82C items.
Source: Department of Commerce, personal correspondence,
21 April 1995 (available upon request).



Back in 1984, it emerged that US export regulations even had special customs
codes form such items as ‘specially designed instruments of torture’ (US
Department of Commerce, 1984) There was even some suggestion (in para 376.14)
that the US government could distance itself from human rights violations
through ‘judicious use of export controls’. (US Department of Commerce, 1983).
Concerned by the possible scale of the trade in such technologies and the
possibility they could be exported on via Europe which has much laxer arms
export controls and transparency than the US, the UK human rights organisation,
the Omega Foundation, sought comprehensive US export trade statistics. A
Freedom of Information request was put down on Omega’s behalf by the Federation
of American Scientists (FAS).

What emerged was that the new category codes in the export administration
regulations have if anything been extended to include, inter alia:

* ‘saps, thumbcuffs, thumbscrews, leg irons, shackles and handcuffs, specially
designed implements of torture, straight jackets etc. (OA82C)’ and

* ‘stun guns, shock batons, electric cattle prods and other immobilization
guns (OA84C)’ (United States Department of Commerce 1994).

The statistics of the export licences of such repressive equipment show that
from September 1991 to December 1993, the US Commerce Department approved
over 350 export licences under commodity category OA82C. The further category
OA84C aggregates together data on electric shock batons with shotguns and
shells. Over 2000 licences were granted from September 1991 to December 1993.
(See Chart 13) As feared, the list names many EU Member States including
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany; Iceland, Ireland, Italy, The Netherlands,
Spain and the United Kingdom. While the licenses represent a snapshot of
permissions for the sale to go forward, they do not indicate actual delivery,
nor are they comprehensive since countries in NATO, such as Turkey, do not
require a licence (Arms Sales Monitor, 1995). FAS has pointed out
that aggregating data in this way, by lumping noncontroversial data on equipment
such as those on helmets with controversial data on equipment often used
for torture such as shock batons, effectively frustrates public oversight.
Given the nature of some of the recipients – Saudi Arabia for example, where
Amnesty has already recorded instances of Iraqis being tortured with electric
shock batons (Amnesty International, 1994), many observers feared the
worst.166 Pressure to desegregate such categories
in the US eventually proved successful but there remains a lack of effective
checking and some items which should be in the amended category, are still
slipping through.167

8. 4 Controlling The Spread of Push-Button Torture

Alarmed by new information emerging on the extent of the worldwide trade
in torture technologies, the International Secretariat of Amnesty launched
a worldwide campaign against ‘Arming the Torturers, Electroshock Torture
and the Spread of Stun Technology’, as this report was being finalized in
March 1997 (Amnesty International 1997). Amnesty’s report identified over
100 companies willing to supply modem stun weapons since
1990168, in twenty countries, including members
of the EU, (Belgium169,
Spain174 and the United
Kingdom175). The proposals made by Amnesty
International to halt this trade in bush-button torture, have been incorporated
into the policy recommendations below.



The Commission should be requested to achieve agreement between Member States
to undertake changes to their respective strategic export controls so that:

(i) All proposed transfers of security or police equipment are publicly disclosed
in advance, especially electroshock weapons, (including those arranged on
European territory where the equipment concerned remains outside Member States’
borders) so that the human rights situation in the intended receiving country
can be taken into consideration before any such transfers are allowed.;

(ii) Reports are issued on the human rights situation in receiving countries;

(iii) Member States Parliaments are notified of all information necessary
to enable them to exercise proper control over the implementation of the
law, including information on human rights from non-governmental organisations;

(iv) Member States monitor and regulate all exhibitions promoting the sale
of security equipment and technology to ensure that any proposed transfers
such as electroshock weapons, will not contribute to unlawful killings, or
to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment;

(v) All military, police and security exhibitions are required to publish
guest lists, names of exhibitors, products and services on display and no
visas or invitations should be issued to governments or representatives of
security forces, known to carry out human rights violations.

(vi)The sender should take legal responsibility for the stated use of military,
security and police transfers in practice, for example making future contracts
dependent on adherence to human rights criteria and that such criteria are
central to the regulatory process.

(vii) The European Parliament should explore the possibilities of using the
Joint Action procedures used to establish the EU regulations on the export
of Dual Use equipment to draw up common lists of (a) proscribed military,
security, police (MSP)technology and training, the sole or primary use of
which is to contribute to human rights violations; (b) sensitive MSP technologies
which have been shown in the past to be used to commit human rights violations;
and (c) military, security and police units and forces which have been
sufficiently responsible for human rights violations and to whom sensitive
goods and services should not be supplied.

(viii) The European Parliament should commission new research into the extent
to which European companies are complicity in supplying MSP equipment used
to commit human rights violations and the prospects of instituting independent
measures of monitoring the level and extent of such sales whilst tracking
their subsequent human rights impacts and consequences.



With proper accountability and regulation, some of the technologies discussed
above do have a legitimate law enforcement function; without such democratic
controls they provide powerful tools of oppression. The unchecked vertical
and horizontal proliferation of the technologies of political control described
in this report, present a powerful threat to civil liberties in Europe in
the s [as written] century, particularly if the political context
of freedoms of expression changes in the next century, as many times as it
has in the last. Whilst there are sufficient real abuses of power by the
police, internal security and intelligence agencies to keep the conspiracy
theorists busy for the foreseeable future, technological and decision drift
will have an equal if not more powerful role to play if current trends develop
unchecked. The real threat to civil liberties and human rights in the future,
is as likely to arise from an incremental erosion of civil liberties, than
it is from some conscious plan. The rate of such erosion is speeding up and
is rapidly being fuelled by the pace of innovation in the technology of political
control. An arsenal of new weapons and technologies of political control
has already been developed or lies waiting on the horizon for a suitable
opportunity to find useful work.

As the globalisation of political control technologies increases, Members
of the European Parliament have a right and a responsibility to challenge
the costs, as well as the alleged benefits of so called advances in law
enforcement. This report has sought to highlight some of the areas which
are leading to the most undesirable social and political consequences (such
as advances in so called ‘non-lethal weapons’ or the emergence of a vast
international machinery of communications supervision) and where a return
to a fuller form of democratic control is seen as desirable. The social and
political implications of other innovations mentioned above such as human
recognition and tracking technologies, are under explored and further work
should be undertaken. In the meantime, urgent action is required by other
Directorates, to ensure European technology of political control does not
get into the hands of tyrannical and repressive regimes, as it so often does
today. Members of the Committee are requested to consider the policy
recommendations provided in the report as just a first step to help bring
the technology of political control, back under democratic control.



[JYA Note: A few of the citations lack the year; shown as

1. For a detailed analysis of NARMIC & NACLA’s work in
this area, see for example. Police on the Home Front (NARMIC, 1971). Also
see Iron Fist &Velvet Glove: An Analysis of the US Police, 1976 Published
by the Center for Research on Criminal Justice, Berkley.

2. Based on a definition from Winner, 1974.

3. For a discussion of the perspective in terms of the role
technology plays in the future of policing, see (Nogala, D. 1995).

4. A general reader interested in the overall state of the
art should consult annual publications such as Jane’s Security & Co-In
(Counter-Insurgency ) Catalog [provides a wide range of product information];
British Defence Equipment Catalogue [produced in association with UK MoD];
International Defence Equipment Catalogue [very detailed catalogue leaning
towards the military and paramilitary end of the spectrum produced by Monch
publications, Germany]; International Defence Directory [very useful index
of companies and products, e.g., listing batons-electronic. Also provides
some useful detail on companies representatives within other countries];
or periodicals which deal with certain market sectors such as Intersec, Jane’s
Defence Review, Jane’s Defence Weekly; CCTV Today; Police & Government
Security Technology; Cross Border Control – International, Military Technology;
or for a more radical updating of news, the CILIP report of Berlin, the
Statewatch publication from London or the Fortress Europe newsletter from
Sweden. The Exhibition catalogues of the fairs listed here as Appendix 1,
also provide a revealing insight into what is being traded, by who to whom.

5. For a critical evaluation of the utility of the various
commercial and public domain information sources on military, security and
police technologies, see Abel, 1997.

6. Whilst it remains impossible to put an exact figure on
the global worth of sales of the technology of political control, most
commentators agree that it is rapidly growing . This trend accelerated at
the end of the Cold War when many military companies diversified their product
range into the civilian internal security market. For example, one estimate
suggested that the US market for ‘low intensity conflict merchandise’ would
increase from $1 billion in fiscal 1991 to $1.5 billion in fiscal 1996. This
was contrasted sharply with a projected 25% decrease in US Department of
Defense (DoD) expenditure on conventional weaponry during the same period.(Frost
& Sullivan International, 1991)

7. A process which reached an apotheosis with the introduction
of robot policemen patrols in the United States. (Davie, 1984). This work
has continued into the Nineties with the evolution of ‘insectoids’ for guard
duty functions. (see Section 3. on area-denial)

8. An explanation of the role and function of Eurodac is
provided in the consultants final report to the Council of The European Union
general Secretariat, ‘The Eurodac System For Recording Asylum Seekers’
Fingerprints’, (O/Ref.:(EUD2/JPB/1&C) Paris, October 11, 1995. For a
discussion of the implications of Eurodac, see Fortress Europe, circular
letter No. 46, Sweden, August 1996. A more detailed explanation of the concept
of a technopolitics of exclusion within the context of an evolving Fortress
Europe, is presented in (Abel, et. al. 1991).

9. Klare garnered information on a few score companies (Klare
& Arnson, 1981); Wright managed a few hundred (Wright, 1987); Whereas
the Omega Foundation now has details on over 5,000 companies.

10. Statewatch, October, 1996, pp. 6-7.

11. Einsatz der Stadtpolizei bei den Auseinandersetzungen
vom 1 Mai 1996. bericht der Geschaftsprufngskommission an den Gemeinderat
der Stadt Zurich, Zurich, February 1997, p. 190.

12. For example the CLASSIC (Covert Local Area Sensor System)
system built by Racal UK, which is used detect illegal immigrants attempting
to enter Hong Kong.


13. The snake of fire was the electrified border fence which
guarded South Africa’s border with Mozambique and Zimbabwe. According to
the South African Bureau for Refugees, it killed more refugees in three years
than the Berlin Wall killed in its entire history. (New Scientist. 27 Jan

14. E.g., Morpho systemes in France; Siemens
Automatisierungstechnik in Germany; Security Systems International in
Switzerland; ICL DESC, Ferranti and Unysis in the U.K.

15. The Guardian, May 3, 1995 .

16. Sylvester, R, 1996, Labour Plans DNA test for everyone
from Birth, Telegraph, July 22.

17. E.g., by Avenire Technologie International and Tour
Bull:Worldwide Information Systems.

18. E.g., by helling Kommanditgesellschaft fur

19. E.g., by Aspley LtD, BAeSEMA Ud, Bel Tech Security products,
Belgrave Group, Cambridge Neurodynamics, DelTech Security Ltd, Electronics
Graphics, GEC Traffic Automation LtD, IO Research Ltd, Keygrove Marketing,
Noble Campion Ltd, NPS Photograph Storage and retrieval System, Picdar Ud,
SD-Scicon UK, Solarray Identification Systems (SIS), Strategic Imaging

20. E.g., by Axiom Research Co., Compu-Colour, Edicon, Epic
solutions, Identikit Co Inc, Kyber Group, Neurometric Visions Systems, Precision
Dynamics Corp, Sirchie Fingerprint Labs, Technology Recognition Systems (TRS),
Visatex Corporation.

21. Via companies such as PratiElectro in Belgium; Spectronic
& SST in Denmark; Compagnie Francause d’Exportation; Crelec Electronique;
Data Mast; DLD SA; Elecktron France SA; Export Trading Services SARL, Protex
Arms, Societie des Laboratoires Mouillard, Transtel Transmissions; VK Electronic
in France; HP Marketing & Consulting Wust; HABRA Electronik; Hussains
International; KDM; Micro and Security Electronic; PK Electronic and Rennhak
Nachtsichtsysteme in Germany; ATET SRi in Italy; ALphaSafety in Luxembourg;
Reinaert Electronics in the Netherlands; Defex in Spain and Spycatcher, Soundex,
Lorrraine Electronics PK Electronics, CAZ, Counterspy; and TR Associates
in the UK.

22. Davies, S, (1997), Police tap into the secrets of
technology, Daily telegraph, January 28, p. 7.

23. Whymant, R (1977), 6-legged superspy scuttles to our
aid, Times, 29 January.

24. Quoted from Jane Hunter, Israeli Foreign Policy, South
African and Central America, South End Press. 1987.

25. See, The Surveillance Society, Sci-Files, BBC, broadcast,
BBC2, 3 March 1997 .

26. This new form of carbon will enable current CRAY type
super computers to be carried in the pocket, the implications of having such
storage capacity for policing purposes are barely assessed since the trend
is towards suppressed demand – i.e., police forces use up whatever capacity
they are provided with. (Sci-Files, BBC, UK, ‘The Last Nobel’, 17,3,97.)

27.Typical examples include those made by Sicherheits Transport
in Austria; Beherman Demoen & FN Nouvelle Herstal in Belgium; Timoney
Technologies in Eire; Renault, Saviem and Panhard in France; Bonowi Mercedes
Benz, Rheinstahl and Thyssen in Germany; Alma in Greece; Fiat and Inveco
in Italy; Alphasafety in Luxembourg; DAF Special Products Division in the
Netherlands; Nauteknik Defence & Security in Norway; Bravia — Sodedade
Luso-Brasileira & ITB in Portugal; DEFEX and Santa Barbara SA in Spain;
Hagglunds Vehicles in Sweden; Bucher Guyer and MOWAG in Switzerland; Aselan
Military, FMC & Octobus in Turkey; Alvis, GKN, Glover Webb, Land Rover,
Short Brothers, Transac and Trojan vehicles in the UK.

28. E.g., by the end of 1983 70 martial arts instructors
were teaching London police officers Japanese martial arts techniques – the
old techniques were viewed as two pedestrian. These new techniques go hand
in hand with mini-truncheon usage. The techniques were evolved originally
for use in Northern Ireland according to Brigadier Michael Harvey, the military
trainer responsible for teaching them,


because of “the inadequacy of techniques used in Northern Ireland where six
soldiers were often needed to make one arrest.” (Sunday Telegraph, 7.7.85)

29. Interview with Professor Rosenhead, January 1997.

30. For example the Lawrence Livermore laboratory has developed
a pulsed light weapon and a projectile launcher with impact velocity control;
Delta Defence has created a pepper Spray Launcher: Foster Miller a Diabling
Net and Launcher system; Sandia Laboratories have produced the sticky foam
gun. Some of these have already been approved for example, DEFTEC’s semi-lethal
shot gun rounds; Alliant’s non-lethal launched ordnance and the Volcano fish-hook
mine system, Olin’s vehicle stopper.

31. “As soon as a new non-lethal weapon has been used, the
shock effect will be reduced in future.” (Deane-Drummond, 1975).

32. For an excellent discussion, see Sugarman S & Rand,
K, Cease Fire, Rolling Stone, March 10, 1994, pp. 31-39.

33. E.g., Hirtberger, Austria; Cartridge Factory Lapua,
Sako Ltd, Finland; Laboratoire Arcane, Societe Francaise de Munitions (SFM,
France; Dynamit Nobel, Germany; Norma Projectilfabrik, Sweden; SM Swiss Munition
Enterprise; Beechwood, Cobra, Conjay Arms Co., Edgar brothers, Parker Hale
Ltd. in the UK. The development of these weapons has in fact gone hand in
hand with their converse – guns like the Belgium FN Herstal’s Five-seven
pistol which can penetrate 48 layers of Kelvar. Such developments lead to
a ratchet-like arms race between the police and their adversaries on who
can out gun whom since it may be the opposition who acquire the hi-tech first.

34. Guardian, 10/2/96 and the Atlantic 2/90.

35. Speech by Hansjourg Geiger, German Federal Commission
for the Stasi Files, April 14, 1993.

36. David Banisar, Covert Action Quarterly, No. 56, Spring

37. Ibid.

38. Ibid.

39. ‘Your number may be up’, Times, May 13, 1994. Company
Press release 17,5, 94.

40. For example, Compagnie Francaise d’Exportation, DLD
SA, Elektron France SA, IN SNEC, Positive, SAGEM. Thomson CSF Securite.

41. E.g., Bosch & HABRA Elecktronic.

42. E.g., Gatsometer BV.

43. E.g., Action Information management, Arkonia Electronics,
CCS UK, MAtra Marconi, McCue, Micromill, Navstar Systems, Pearpoint, Primary
Image, Racal, Radmec, Sarasota Automation, Securicor Datatrak, Siemens Plessey
Controb, Strategi Imaging Systems, Symonds Travers Morgan, Terrafix, and
The Integrated Security Group.

44. Common Position EC No/95, Adopted by the Council on
20 February 1995, Directive 95/EC of the European Parliament and the Council,
‘On the Protection of Individuals, With Regard to the Processing of Personal
Data and on the Free Movement of Such Data’.

45. E.g., debate re use of bugging and other unconventional
methods against motorcycle gangs. (Statewatch, September, October 1996.

46. E.g., the revelations in the De Morgen newspaper on
24 April 1996, that the Belgium Intelligence service “Abemene Dienst Inlichtingen
en Veiligheid”, had decided to create regional networks based in various
Army barracks to spy on the activities of Belgian citizens.


47. An intense debate has gone on since 1995 about allowing
bugging of personal homes which would need to amend article 13 of the
constitution on the inviolability of residence. (Unverletzlichkeit der Wohnung).

48. Where a judicial inquiry into secret surveillance, by
the Norwegian surveillance police, was appointed by the Norwegian Parliament
on 1 February, 1996 (Statewatch, May-June. 1996, p. 5)

49. Dutch politicians called for an inquiry in January 1996,
after reports that one of the country’s largest banks was intercepting staff
calls. Financial Times, 18.1.96.

50. Where new legislation for both MI5 and for ordinary
police has created new powers to bug and burgle. (See Statewatch, February
1996 and the Guardian, 30 Nov 1996)

51. Reuters World Report, 30 September 1996.

52. For further information, see the annual reports of the
Commission nationale de controle des interceptions de securite, Paris.

53. Quoted from NARMIC, 1971, p .17, (who refer to Scheurer’s
own book (undated), To Walk the Streets Safely, p. 81,

54. These tables are taken from the papers of Thein,1974;
Egnar, 1976 and Wargovitch, 1975. Whilst immediate political consequences
were factored into the equation, little systematic evaluation seems to have
been devoted to the longer-term political consequences of deploying these
weapons. The official view filtered out any consideration of hidden or
dysfunctional impacts of these weapons.

55. These concepts were formally laid out as follows:

(i) The use of less-lethal weapons constitutes an aggressive act. If those
who are targeted with these technologies make this interpretation, there
is a possibility that further use will lead them to reply with retaliatory
aggressive responses.

(ii) If (i) is so, then in certain circumstances, the use of less-lethal
weapons may be considered as an overcorrective response. Overcorrective responses
can bring about an opposite effect to the one intended, e.g., uncontrollable
conflict and further polarization.

(iii) If powers of control were lost because of these dysfunctional processes,
a resurgence of the phenomena under attempted control may develop as the
fix loses its potency. If such processes were applicable to the case of less
lethal weapons and the nature of the underlying dynamic was not recognised,
reliance on ever even more powerful fixes would prove counterproductive.
(Wright, 1978, 1987)

56. Hansard, Written Answers, 21 January 1977, col 331.

57. Hansard Written Answer, Friday 28 January, 1977, No.
54 .

58. An account of the circumstances surrounding these deaths
is provided in ‘A Report On the Misuse of the Baton Round in the North of
Ireland, Submission to the Mitchell Commission, United Campaign Against Plastic
Bullets, 1995 and Curtis, L, They Shoot Children, Information on Ireland,

59. Upshall, DG, ‘The effects of CN & CS on the developing
chicken embryo’, quoted by Himmsworth, (HMSO, 1971).

60. CR, nicknamed firegas, was developed in the early seventies
as a substitute for CS. It can be dissolved in water and thus fired from
watercannon. The UK company Schermuly marketed a hand held CR SPAD spray
at the British Army Equipment Exhibition in 1988. Although authorised throughout
the UK since 1973, apart from a reported use in the Maze Prison which the
authorities have always denied, CR is thought to remain a special forces


61. From the Guardian, 27.7.1986.

62. SIPRI, the problem of Chemical and Biological Warfare,
Vol 1, 1971, p. 64.

63. Ballantyne B. ‘Riot Control Agents – Biomedical and
Health Aspects of the Use of Chemicals in Civil Disturbances, Medical Annual
(1977), pp.7-41.

64. Jones,R (1973), ‘Return To Riot Control’, New Scientist,
May 31, pp. 546-547.

65. See Leonard Jason-Lloyd, CS gas – an indiscriminate
weapon?, New Law Journal, July 26, 1991. pp. 1043-1045. Earlier inhalation
toxicology studies indicate that at high levels of CS exposure to cause chemical
pneumonitis and fatal pulmonary edema (whats that [as written]). Ref.
Ballantyne B, Callaway S., ‘Inhalation toxicology and Pathology of animals
exposed to o-chloro-benzylidene malononitrile (CS)’, Med. Sci. & Law,
1972; 12:43-65. Kacmarek B, Gaszynski W., Ultrastructure of the rabbits lung
tissue after administration of CS preparation. Acta Med Pol. 1977; 18:327-328.

66. A Parneix-Spake et Al, Severe Cutaneous Reactions to
Self Defence Sprays, Arch Dermatol Vol 1 29, July 1993, p. 913.

67. The development of tolerance to CS has been reported
by Porton researchers in studies on human volunteers (Beswick FW, Holland
P, Kemp KH, ‘Acute effects of exposure to orthochloro-benzylidene malononitrile
(CS) and the development of tolerance’. Br. J. Ind. Medicine. 1972; 29: 298-306.

68. Hu H., Fine J., Epstein P., Kelsey K., Reynolds P.,
Walker B., ‘Tear gas – Harassing Agent or Toxic Chemical Weapon’, JAMA, August
4, 1989 – Vol 262, No. 5.

69. Gibbons S., Training accident delays street trials of
CS spray., Police Review, 16 June 1995.

70. Chief Constable Ted Crew is reported in the Independent
as saying, “I am advised that were there to be a civil claim resulting from
the use of CS spray, I might find that because we had trained the officers
using it, I had some liability.’ (29)

71.Foster, RW and Ramage, AG, ‘Observations on the Effects
of Dibenzoxazepine (CR) & Nonoyl Vanillyaamide (VAN) on Sensory Nerves’,
The British Journal of Pharmacology, March 1975, pp. 436-7.

72. Los Angeles Times June 18, 1995.

73. ACLU, Oleoresin Capsicum, – Pepper Spray Update, More
Fatalities, More Questions, June, 1995, p. 2.

74. SAE Alsetex.

75. Defense Technology GmbH (Def-Tec) & IDC Chemie Handels

76. Nitspy Defensa Y Contraespionaje.

77. ALM International UD; Civil Defence Supply; Edgar Brothers;
& Safeguard Technology. In June 1994, at an ACPO Drugs Conference, Civil
Defence Supply admitted they were already importing peppergas sprays and
were working on their evaluation with the Home Office and ACPO.

78. Nancy Rhodes, Pepper Spray, Product Liability and Cops,
Policing By Consent, No.11, August 1 996.

79. See ‘Perfect Sound from Thin Air, New Scientist, 7 September
1996, p. 22.


80 See Jane’s International Defense Review, 9, September
96, p. 20.

81. See National Institute of Justice Solicitation For Law
Enforcement, Courts and Corrections Technology, Development, Implementation
and Evaluation, August 1996.

82. Barbara Starr, USA defines policy on non-lethal weapons,
Jane’s Defence Weekly, March 6, 1996.

83. Comment from Hildi S. Libby, systems manager of the
Non-Lethal Program, US ARDEC, to the American Defense Preparedness Association
Non-lethal Defence II conference, 6-7 March 1996.

84. Proceedings of the Non Lethal Defence II conference
organised by The American Defence Preparedness Association, held at Maclean,
Virginia, 6-7 March 1996.

85. For example, by Israeli warders against Palestinian
detainees at Ramallah and Jnaid prisons. For accounts, see Schwartz M, (1984)
Israel’s Gas Chamber, The Middle East, June., and a report by the West Bank
Amliate of the International Commission of Jurist, Jnaid – The New Israeli
Prison in Nabulus – An Appraisal, October 1984.

86. In South Africa, such a case was reported in 1981, when
four condemned men were subdued with ‘teargas’ before being taken to the
gallows, (see the Guardian, 16 July 1981).

87. See Statewatch, March-April, 1996, p. 9.

88. A detailed account of this system is given in Wilson,
A, ‘How Rebels Are Silenced’, Observer, 27 Feb. 1977 and Guardian August
8, 1979.

89. These Units were secretly maintained with full details
of their operation only coming to light when a court case was brought by
a civil liberties group, (Guardian, April 8,1980).

90. Covert Action Quarterly, Summer 1993.

91. New York Times, 13 January 1995.

92. Jessica Mitford’s, The American Prison Business, Penguin
1977, provided a good discussion of early behaviour modification techniques
tested in US gaols.

93. Meyer, JAT (1971) Crime Deterrent Transponder System
IEEE AES-7, No. 7, January.

94. Used in New Mexico based home punishment schemes. See
Guardian Nov 8, 1984 for details and the Adam Smith Institute, ‘Justice Policy
1984’, for a case arguing the need for such schemes in Europe.

95. For example last year the UK treasury announced enforced
cutbacks of some 3,000 prison jobs. With the UK prison population expected
to grow by 20,000 over the next 10 years due to the sentencing changes introduced
by Home Secretary Michael Howard, staffing levels are sliding back to those
prevailing at the time of the prison riots in the late 1980’s. In these
circumstances, the shortsighted prospect is one of expensive wardens being
replaced with cheaper and more malleable technology, both passive and punitive.

96. Warren P, ‘Prisons go shopping in face of staff cuts’,
Computing, 25 January 1996.

97. Restricted Contract Procedure (CC3160) for Her Majesty’s
Prison Service, Supply and Transport Services, Tenders Electronic Daily,

98. Inmates demand return, Houston Chronicle, Oct. 30, 1995,

99. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, ‘Investigation
of Onondaga Country Jail, Oct 18, 1994. pp. 2-3.


100. Law Enforcement Product News. 9.10.95, p. 42.

101. Quoted in Amnesty International, United States of
America – Use of electro-shock belts. June 1996.

102. Presentation to the Non-lethal Defence II conference,
held by the American Defense Preparedness Association March 1996.

103. Much of the information used in this section is extracted
from Wright 1996 and Amnesty International, 1997(a), which is largely based
on company documentation held by the Omega Foundation.

104. Fig. 1 is taken from the 1996 Annual Report of the
Redress Trust. The mission of the Redress Trust (which is based at 6 Queen
Square in London WC1 N 3AR, UK), is ‘to promote the rehabilitation and protection
of people who are or at any time have been victims of torture anywhere in
the world, and to help them, and when appropriate, their families to gain
redress for their suffering.’

105. Such were the successes of the coercive interrogations
practiced in the former Soviet Union that the US Rand Corporation at that
time explored the possibility that the ‘Russians have developed and are now
using some form of hypnosis possibly in conjunction with drugs and other
treatments, as a technique for eliciting confessions from persons who, under
ordinary forms of duress, would not be likely to comply with demands for
a public recantation’. (See Janis, 1949)

106. See (Gudjonnson, G. 1996) for a discussion of this
process. Gudjonnson quotes R.A. Leo’s account of the changing nature of police
interrogation in the USA from the 1930’s onwards. Leo, for example, identified
6 interrogation methods which focussed on pain, discomfort and torture. These
consisted of ‘brute force’; ‘physical torture’; ‘deniable physical and
psychological coercion’; (e.g. rubber hoses which left no marks); ‘incommunicado
interrogation’, i.e., isolation from lawyers, family and friends); ‘physical
duress’ (e.g. food /sleep deprivation); ‘threats of harm’. (Leo 1992) found
that these methods declined from the 1930’s to be replaced by psychological
methods of interrogation relying on trickery, manipulation and deception.
(See Inbrau, et al. 1986)

107. See United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the
Treatment of Prisoners (United Nations, 1955) which apply to both leg irons
and to stun belts, section 33 says: Instruments of restraint such as handcuffs,
chains, irons and straitjackets should never be applied as punishment.
Furthermore, chains and irons should not be used as restraints. Other instruments
of restraint should not be used except in the following circumstances: (a)
as a precaution against escape during a transfer, provided that they shall
be removed when the prisoner appears before a judicial or administrative

108. Leg irons, restraints, etc., are supplied in Canada
by Shackles; in China by Chengdushi Mensuochang, Jing An Import & Export
Co., Shandong Muping General Lockware Plant; in France by Equipol, GK Productions
International, Rivolier; in Germany by Bonowi, Clemen & Jung Inh. V&
K Pleithner, Dipl. Ing H. Wallfass, Electron – Import & Export Co., Helling
Kommanditgesellschaft fur Industrieprodukte, Nowar Security Equipment; in
Luxembourg by AlphaSafety; in Spain by Larranaga Y Elorza; in Taiwan by Pan
Right; in the U.K. by Group 4 Total Security, Hiatt & Co., M.P. Supplies
Co.; and in the USA by A.E Nelson Leather, AEDEC, AETCO, American Handcuff,
Arms Tech Inc, Badge Co of New Jersey, Bianchi International, Hiatt Thompson
Co., Law Enforcement Associates, Monadock Lifetime Products, Peerless Handcuffs,
Smith & Wesson and Techopol International, to name but a few.

109. Project Chatter was begun by the US Navy in 1947 in
coordination with the Army, the Air Force, the CIA and FBI and for security
reasons, handled outside the usual committee machinery of the Research &
Development Board. (Document submitted in evidence to the joint hearings
of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee on Health & the Senate
Judiciary Sub-Committee on Administrative Practice & procedure, Biomedical
and Behavioural Research, Nov. 1975, pp. 988-990.

110. U.S. Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental
Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, Final Report: Foreign
& Military Intelligence, 26 April 1976, report no. 94-755 book 1, pp.
385-422, ‘Testing and use of chemical and biological agents by the intelligence


111. There were 149 MKULTRA subprojects concerned with
behaviour modification, drug acquisition. and testing and administering drugs
surreptiously. (CIA Inspector General, memorandum for Director of Central
Intelligence dated 26 July 1963, Report of Inspection of MKULTRA, submitted
in evidence to the joint hearings of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare
Subcommittee on Health and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Administrative
Practice and Procedure, Biomedical and Behavioural Research, 1975, 10,12
September and November 1975, pp. 879-905.

112. According to documentation made available to a
Congressional Inquiry, a portion of the Research & Development Programme
of the the TSS/Chemical Division was aimed towards the discovery of the following
materials and methods: (i) Substances which will promote illogical thinking
and impulsiveness to the point where the recipient would be discredited in
public; (ii)materials which will render the induction of hypnosis easier;
(iii) materials and physical methods which will produce amnesia for events
preceding and during their use; (iv) physical methods of producing shock
and confusion over extended periods of time and capable of surreptious use;
(v) substances which produce physical disablement such as paralysis of the
legs, acute anaemia etc.; (vi) substances which alter personality structure
in such a way that the recipient becomes dependent on another person; (vii)
material which will cause mental confusion making it difficult for an individual
to maintain a fabrication under questioning; (viii) substances which lower
ambition and working efficacy when administered in undetectable amounts;
(ix) substances which promote weakness or distortion of eyesight or hearing;
(x) knockout pill which can be surreptiously administered; (xi) a material
whose use in very small amounts makes it impossible to perform any physical
activity whatsoever. (US Senate Committee on Intelligence and Human Resources
Subcommrttee on Health and Scientific Research, joint hearing: Project MKULTRA,
the CIA’s Program of Research in Behaviour Modification, 3 August 1977, pp.

113. The daily El Mundo quoting military intelligence files
said the 1988 experiments in which a beggar died, had been dubbed “Operation
Mengele” within the service after Nazi death-camp doctor Josef Mengele. (Reuter
September 17, 1996) It should be noted that in 1980 Amnesty International
reported the use of LSD and sensory deprivation methods against ETA suspects
held in La Salve Police Station. (See New Statesman, 11 December 1981, pp.

114. In October 1996, the Austrian government approved
the publication of a report from the ECPT which contained allegations that
detainees of Austrian as well as foreign nationality were at risk of grave
ill treatment particularly while detained at the Bureau of Security in Vienna.
ECPT reported:

“From various sources the delegation received allegations according to which
people detained by the Bureau of Security in Vienna during February and March
1994 had received electric shocks inflicted with batons equipped to administer
an electric discharge. . . . These detainees all described a similar instrument
which was a portable device the size of an electric razor one extremity of
which had two electrodes, a device which a police official carried in a personal
bag.” (Amnesty International, 1997)

115. In its report Arming the Torturers (Amnesty International,
1997) named the fifty countries where electroshock torture and ill treatment
had been carried out in prisons, police stations and detention centres. They

Afghanistan, Algeria, Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria,
Chad, Chile, China, Cyprus, Colombia, Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador,
Ethiopia, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, India Indonesia/East Timor, Iran, Iraq,
Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco/Western Sahara, Nepal, Netherlands Antilles, Nigeria,
Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Russian federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Somalia,
South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Togo, Turkey, USA, Uruguay, Venezuela, Viet
Nam, Yemen, Yugoslavia Kosovo province, Zaire.

Amnesty recognises that the real figure is probably higher, “as the use of
these weapons in torture can be very difficult to detect.”

116. See for example, Ordog. et. al. 1987; Law & Order,
‘Reviewing Taser Usage 1992; Allen, T.B., 1991.

117. See Cusac, A.M, 1996, who quotes the engineer who
examined the electric shield associated with the death of Harry Landis, a
Texan Prison officer in December 1995. He said “The manufacturer puts in
its literature that the shields will not hurt anyone, including people with
heart conditions. But they have


not done studies on people at all They conducted their tests on animals –
anesthetized animals. Do you see the danger here? In one word: adrenalin,”
That is the waking human response to electro-shock which results in an adrenalin
rush needs to be taken into account in regard to any assertions of safety
in devices of this type.

118. Prof Kaufman of Heinrich Heine University in Dusseldorf
in a letter to a member of Germany Amnesty MSP Group dated 2 November 1995
cautions that an opinion he gave on a particular product ten years ago could
not be used by others since his “expert opinion referred explicitly to the
model of the apparatus which was presented to us in those days.” In the light
of “a great number of changing manufacturers and distributors of such apparatus
. . . refer more or less directly to the above mentioned opinion.” Prof Kaufman’s
view is that this is “basically inadmissable as from the point of view of
the electrophysiology, assertions on risks can only be made on the exact
knowledge of the respective operational data.” He viewed a US advert which
used his work as “completely devious”. . . “since the models presented were
examined only as far as safety technics were concerned – we never participated
in any sort of ‘optimization of the weapon’ aimed at obtaining certain effects.”
Prof Kaufman being aware that “as far as it appears from the manufacturers
prospectus – the apparatus offered on the market nowadays differ widely in
their operational data from the apparatus then tested.” In other words
manufacturers are misusing scientific data on one specific device to justify
the safety of many new electroshock weapons which is simply inadmissable.

119. See Forrest, 1996, Chap 5 & Chap 7 for a more
detailed discussion.

120. The Tibetan monk featured in Fig. H, Palden Gyatso
spent decades in prison and labour camps and was systematically tortured.
At one desperate point he told a member of the Omega Foundation that he ate
his boots to survive. On his release he managed to obtain the instruments
used in torture by his Chinese captors and smuggle them out of his country.
He said of the electroshock devices. “They use this on your body. If they
press that button your whole body will be in shock. If they do it for too
long you lose consciousness but you do not die. If they press this button,
you can die.”

121. Excellent discussions on the codification of
counter-terror procedures and their proliferation in practice are provided
by Chomsky and Herman (1979) and McClintock 1985a; 1985b; 1992).

122. Quoted from the Baltimore Sun, ‘Torture was taught
by CIA, 27 January 1997. The Human Resources Exploitation manual appears
to have been based on a predecessor called KUBARK Counterintelligence
Interrogation, (July 1963) used in the Vietnam period which was declassified
at the same time.

123. The initial effects of the procedures in Fig. M are
as follows:

Measures (1), (2), (3) and (5) cause visual, auditory, tactile and kinaesthetic
deprivation. Measures (1), (4), & (6) deprive the brain of the sugar
and oxygen necessary for normal functioning. Measures (1), (4), & (6)
may disturb normal body metabolism.

124. For a further account of the sensory deprivation
techniques used in Northern Ireland see the British Medical Association,
1986. Allegations of continued ill treatment of detainees in Northern Ireland
have continued into the nineties, See for example, Committee on The
Administration of Justice, 1991 & 1993).

125. International Herald Tribune 29 January 1997.

126. The Palestinian Authority and its many police forces
have been accused by Amnesty of torturing detainees using, for example, position
abuse and sleep deprivation or interrogation via assaults whilst a sack was
placed over the victim’s head. (Amnesty International, Palestinian Authority,
Prolonged political detention, torture and unfair trials, London, 2 December

127. Personal communication to the authors from Dr. Siraj
Shah of the Kashmir Council for human rights, in London, dated 5 October,


128. Amnesty International reported evidence of thallium,
a commercial rat poison, being used by the Iraqi authorities to effect delayed
execution of their political detainees.(See Amnesty International, Political
Killings 1983.)

129. Quoted from Priest, D., ‘Army’s Project X Had Wider
Audience’, Washington Post, March 5, 1997.

130. An excellent analysis of the training of torturers
has been achieved by TV producer Rex Bloomstein whose latest programme on
this subject, ‘The Roots of Evil’ is due to be screened by the BBC during
the autumn of 1997.

131. The Dispatches programme team concluded that given
that the £500,000 cost of the electroshock deal was paid for in oil,
and because BAe would have had to invoice the MoD for payment and the UK
government would have had to issue an export licence, they must have known
what was going on (Lashmar, 1995).

132. Stott sits on the board and is a founding member of
the Association of Police and Public Security Suppliers, Britain’s foremost
commercial promoter of police technology and internal security equipment

133. Electroshock weapons are carried by all prison camp
guards in China. According to Pierre Sane, the Secretary General of Amnesty
International, the use of shock weapons in China today ‘has become so endemic
that it is almost impossible to document and follow the cases of the number
of victims.’

134. The concept of a trade in the technology of political
control was originally described by NARMIC and NACLA and formalised by Wright
(1977, 1978) and Klare & Arnson, 1981).

135. European Union: human rights and military, security
and police transfers – When will established criteria be implemented?”, July
1994, p. 8.

136. Austria: Steyr Mannlicher supplied AUG 5.56mm assault
rifles for service with the Indonesian Parachute and Counter-Terrorist police
units (Military Powers 10/91).

137. Belgium: FN Herstal supplied M49 sub machine guns,
FAL 7.62mm Assault Rifles, Minimi 5.56mm light machine guns for police and
security force use (Military 10/91) and have a representative office in Jakarta
(Defence Manufacturers Association ASEAN Report [DMA 8/90]).

138. Denmark: Dansk Industri Syndikat the Madsen sub-machine
gun (made under licence by IMBEL, Brazil) used by Indonesian Police (DMA

139.Finland:Sako supplied Valmet rifles to Security Forces
(Jane’s Security & Counter-Insurgency Equipment 1990 [COIN 90]).

140. France: Acmat supplied wheeled armoured vehicles to
the Indonesian Police (Military Powers 10/91); Creusot Loire supplied 205
AMX-13 tracked armoured vehicles (Military Powers 10/91); GIAT supplied 20
105mm LGI MkII light guns plus a significant quantity of ammunition (Jane’s
Defence Weekly [JDWI 21/5/94); Manurhin supplied SG540 SIG Assault Rifles
(DMA 8/90); Morpho Systems supplied an Automated Fingerprint Recognition
System (MiliPol 1993 Catalog); Panhard supplied 18 VBL Light Amphibious Scout
Cars (JDW 18/12/96).

141. Germany: Heckler 8 Koch supplied MP5 Sub machine guns
used by the Indonesian Special Forces and it was reported that the Indonesian
Marines were to take delivery of MSG 90 Military Sniper Rifles (Asian Defence
Journal 11/95) and police & security forces were already equipped with
G3 Rifles (DMA 8/90).

142. Greece: Pyrkal exported ammunition (Hellenic Defence
Industries Catalog 96/7).

143. Italy: Beretta Model 12 Sub machine guns and BM-59
rifles used by police & security forces (Military Powers 10/91).

144. Netherlands: NWM de Kruithoorn 20mm ammunition is
largely supplied by NWM (DMA 8/90).

145. Sweden: Bofors Indonesia’s 40mm Bofors ammunition
is obtained either from Sweden of Chartered Industries of Singapore (DMA
8/90); FFV (Sweden) sub-machine guns [produced under licence in Egypt] supplied
to Indonesia (COIN 90).


146. UK: GKN Defence 10 AT-10s Saxon GKN Wheeled armoured
vehicles supplied to the Indonesian Police (Military Powers 10/91); Glover
Webb Tactica Water Cannon. “Britain fuels Suharto repression” (Observer 21/7/96);
Interarms Military and sporting armaments (FIS 93); Land Rover Indonesia
purchased 1500 Land Rovers in 1979 which are popular and still in wide use,
including 10 for anti-riot duties and 2 for the Presidential Guard (DMA 8/90);
Amongst the British military and security equipment sold to Indonesia in
the last decade. was a prototype of Siemens Plessey Defence Systems GENERICs
– the NATO command information system. GENERICs can display complex information
about events unfolding across a landscape. It would enable the user to
concentrate forces efficiently in response to demonstrations and riots
(Independent, 3/8/96, Technology that gives the edge to ‘Big Brother’).

147. Belgium: Cockerill Mechanical Industries $100 million
subcontract to build armoured infantry fighting vehicles (AIFVs) for Turkish
Army (JDW 9/9/89); FN Herstal Minimi 5.56mm light machine gun used in Turkey
(JDW 15/7/89).

148. France: Euro Vectuer (GIAT) has set up a subsidiary
in Turkey [Savunna Sanayii] to oversee the firms contract for 515 Dragor
turrets (JDW 4/2/95); Thomson-CSF the TRS 22XX long range mobile (NATO Class
1 ) radar has been adopted by Turkey. Local company Tefken is co-producing
14 examples (International Defense Review [IDR] 9/96).

149. Germany: Alcatel (Radio & Defense Systems) – Aselsan
Electronics (Turkey) manufactures the Alcatel SEL RATAC-S Surveillance radar
under licence (IDR 6/96); Heckler & Koch – Turkey manufactures H+K rifles
and sub-machine guns under licence (American Academy of Arts & Science
2/94); Thyssen Henschel Fox NBC Reconnaissance vehicles supplied to Turkey

150. Italy: Agusta SpA $19 million contract to supply Turkish
Ministry of Defence with 20 AB-206B Jet Ranger Helicopters.

151. Netherlands: DAF has received a S50 million subcontract
to provide weapon station and vehicle integration. The first 20 AIFVs will
be assembled by DAF after which assembly will begin in Turkey (JDW 9/9/89);
Eurometaal – Eurometaal USA listed as exporting several shipments of grenades
to Turkey (PIERS 12/95), Turkey will begin production of cluster bombs as
part of a joint venture between MCIA (Turkey) & Eurometaal. Under the
ten year agreement 206,000 cluster bombs will be produced for Turkey and
103,000 for Holland (Arms Trade News 21/1/94).

152. UK: Burle Ltd listed as exporting CCTV equipment (FIS
Turkey 94); Chemring Ltd 32,355 complete round flare bombs and IR Decoy and
Chaff-S Ammunition (Turkey Contracts Bulletin 1/95); GEC Marconi Communication
Systems resolved dispute with the Turkish Armed Forces regarding the contract
for the Scimitar H (HF-SSB) radios as part of a £96 million contract
started in 1990 (JDW4/2/95); GEC Marconi Secure Systems crypto devices and
spare parts (Turkey Contracts Bulletin 2/95); Pilatus Britten Norman sold
a Multi Sensor Surveillance Aircraft (MSSA) to Turkey for Border Surveillance
for an undisclosed amount (Aerospace Daily 16/6/93); Racal Comsec Ud – CLASSIC
[Covert Local Area Sensor System for Intruder Classification] was originally
developed to detect illegal immigrants attempting to enter Hong Kong. A total
of 1700 systems have been ordered by 31 countries, of which 10 are NATO members
(including Canada, Portugal, Spain and Turkey) (IDR 6/96); Short Brothers
– recent customers for the Shorts Shorland vehicles include 40 APCs (Armoured
Personnel Carriers) to the Turkish Ministry of Interior to be used by the
Gendarmerie; Transac supplied ‘armoured vehicles’ (FIS Turkey 94).

153. Land Rover (UK) have a licence production agreement
with Otobus Karoseri (Otokar) of Turkey. Since 1987, Otokar has built Land
Rover 4×4 vehicles under licence with production running at approx. 2500
vehicles a year. The Scorpion has an all welded steel hull with around 70%
of the automobile components drawn from the well known Land Rover Defender
90/100 (4×4). Machine gun, night vision and day vision equipment are standard
(JDW 6/8/94). Export licence control is not exercised as the UK Government
classifies the Land Rover components as civilian spare parts. This is despite
the end product being a highly maneuverable and lethal internal security
vehicle. Additional reports have shown how this type of third country licenced
production have allowed MSP transfers that would not be permitted direct
from the UK. It was reported in 1995 that Otokar had obtained a $200 million
deal to supply 700 Scorpion vehicles to Algeria (Defense News 2616195). The
UK currently has a military embargo on Algeria.


154. GKN Defence (UK): produce Mowag (Switzerland) armoured
and internal security vehicles under licence. Also produced in Chile and
Canada (Armada International 4-5/96). Oman has received the first batch of
GKN Defence built MOWAG Piranha 8×8 vehicles. (JDW 16/9/95). GKN Defence
have also established licenced production of its vehicles in the Philippines.The
first 7 Simba 4×4 APCs have been delivered to the Philippines Armed Forces.
150 vehicles have been ordered fitted with a 12.7mm Browning MG armed turret.
Eight Simbas will supplied from the UK, several as kits and the rest assembled
at the Subic Bay plant operated by the joint venture Asian Armoured Vehicle
Technologies Corp. A number of variants will probably be developed.(JDW 30/4/94).
It was reported in1989 that the Philippines is therefore set to become the
first ASEAN nation with an armoured vehicle manufacturing capability and
could act as a base for regional export sales. (JDW 16/12/89).

155. FN Nouvelle Herstal SA (Belgium) is helping to build
an ammunition producing factory in Eldoret, Kenya and is providing much of
the machinery. It is estimated that the factory has cost between £6-170
million, but the Kenyan Government refuses to discuss the financing arrangements.
The factory will be capable of producing 20 million bullets a year. (Guardian

156. Heckler and Koch (Germany). H+K small arms are produced
under licence in many countries throughout the world. MKE MP5 A3 and MP5
K Sub machine guns for 9mm Parabellum ammunition are produced by MKE under
licence from Heckler and Koch (Germany). Are very similar in almost all aspects
to the original Heckler & Koch version.(Police & Security Equipment
96/7). In 1994, the American Academy of Arts & Science reported that
H+K rifles were produced under licence in the following countries: France,
Greece, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Turkey, UK, Mexico, Burma, Iran, Pakistan,
Saudi Arabia, Thailand. H+K Sub-machine guns were produced under licence
in: Greece, Portugal, Turkey, UK, Iran, Saudi Arabia.(AAAS 2/94). Such licenced
production can mean in practice that Heckler & Koch small arms are
transferred to countries that the European Union may have export restrictions
on. For example it was reported that in “late 1991, 50,000 Heckler &
Koch G3 automatic rifles were also supplied to Sudan, probably via Iran.”
(JDW 9/5/92).

157. Steyr Mannlicher (Austria): First batch of 1000 STEYR
5.56mm AUG Assault rifles for Malaysian Armed forces completed by SME Tools
in Malaysia (Total of 65,000 rifles are to be produced over 5 year period)
(JDW 5/10/91).

158. FFV Ordnance (Sweden) 9mm Model 45 sub machine gun
– generally known as the Carl Gustaf. Made under licence in Port Said, Egypt.
A silenced version was used by US special forces in S.E. Asia. The weapon
was also copied & produced in Indonesia – currently not in production.
(COIN 90).

159. PT Pindad (Persero) (Indonesia): PT Pindad has signed
a licence agreement with Chartered Industries of Singapore to produce the
CIS 40-AGL 40mm automatic grenade launcher. (JDW 28/5/94). Also reported
as producing the following small arms under licence production agreements:
version of FNC rifle as SS1-V1 and SS1-V2, version of Browning High Power
pistol – made under licence from FN, Belgium; version of Beretta 9mm Model
SMG – made under licence from Beretta, USA; 60mm Mortar – made under licence
from Tampella, Finland; 81 mm Mortar (Quantity 500) (Tampella, Finland);
Model 38/49 SMG and Model 12 SMG – made under licence from Beretta, USA;
Model 45 (Carl Gustav) SMG – made under licence from Sweden; FNC, FN FAL,
FN MAG FN Mauser 98 carbine (used by police) – made under licence from FN,
Belgium; FN Minimi SAW – made under licence from FN, Belgium. (Defence
Manufacturers Association 8/90: Indonesia – Police & Security Equipment

160. It was reported in 1994 that the Swiss company, Pilatus
Flugzeugwerke opened a military trainer production line at its UK subsidiary
on the Isle of Wight, called Pilatus Britten-Norman Ltd (UK), to side step
tough new arms-export regulations.(Flight International 6/4/94). One reason
suggested for the move was that the Swiss aircraft company wanted to take
advantage of laxer British rules on arms exports. Pilatus Aircraft, a subsidiary
of Oerlikon-Buhrle, currently manufactures the PC-7 and PC-9 in Stans, near
Lucerne. The planes, originally developed for training, have been widely
sold to countries such as Guatemala, Burma, Iraq, Iran and El Salvador. Swiss
law prohibits military sales to ‘areas of conflict’. Pilatus has long claimed
that its planes are not military equipment and that, if armies buy them for
training, that is not the same as buying them for killing. At least one company
in Belgium openly offers gun ready conversion services. (Observer 27/3/94).
The UK subsidiary already has a licenced production agreement with the
Philippines, the PADC (Philippines Aerospace Development Corporation) was
reported to be building the Islander light transport and passenger aircraft.
The Islander has A STOL capability and can be used for cargo, passenger,
survey, aerial spraying and in its Martime Defender version, maritime
surveillance operations. The original agreement called for the transfer of
105 Islanders to the


PADC. The first 6 were built by Britten-Norman and sold by PADC. The next
14 were delivered unfinished, and the next 35 were assembled by PADC. After
Britten-Norman was acquired by Swiss firm. Pilatus, in 1979. The assembling
licence was suspended. But in March 1980 a new agreement was reached for
the assembly of 12 more Islanders, including one turboprop BN-2T Turbine
Islander. In 1981, PADC were no longer just assembling the Islander but building
it from the ground up. PADC hoped to become the exclusive distributor of
the Pilatus Products in the ASEAN region.(Arms Production 1984).

161.The full text of resolution Doc EM\RE\264264474 read:

– aware of the European Parliament’s concerns regarding the export
of repressive technologies to repressive regimes that violate human rights,

– disturbed at recent revelations that such technologies are being
produced in at least three European Union (EU) countries, namely Germany,
Ireland and the United Kingdom, companies such as Equipol, France Selection
Neral et Cie (France) Tactical Arms International UK and British Aerospace
are all known to have supplied electroshock units,

– horrified at the information that these technologies have been exported
amongst others to Saudi Arabia, China, the Gulf States and South Africa under
the Apartheid regime,

– aware that these technologies have been used in gross violation
of human rights, aware of government complicity in these transactions that
have been formally banned by the governments concerned, for example ICL Technical
Plastics in Glasgow, which produces electroshock weapons ,

1. Requests a statement from the governments concerned regarding the

2. Urges support for Amnesty International’s call for a full investigation
into the extent of the trade in the EU;

3. Calls on the Commission to bring forward proposals to incorporate
those technologies within the scope of arms export controls and ensure greater
transparency in the export of all military security and police technologies
to prevent the hypocrisy of governments who themselves breach their own export

4. Instructs the President to forward this resolution to the Council,
the Commission and the EU Member State Governments.

162. For further details, see Ballantyne, 1996.

163. Amnesty International Danish Medical Group, 1987.

164. The image used in Fig.46 was taken by this man and
supplied to Amnesty International.

165. For example AB Electronics (electronic restraint devices);
AFY Distributors (electroshock batons);Amazing Concepts (Intimidator electric
shock weapons),; Armas No Mortales (electroshock weapons); B.West Imports
(paralyser Stun Batons); Custom Armouring Corp (Nova Electronic riot equipment);
Federal Laboratories Division(Electronic batons); Hiatt Thompson (restraint
devices); Nova Technologies (electronic restraint and stun devices); Paralyzer
Protection (electric shock stun guns and batons); Ranger Joes (stun guns);
Reliapon Police Products (Nova Electronic restraints and shields); S. &
J. Products (electronic restraint devices); SAS R&D Services (electronic
batons); Sherwood Communications Associates UD( Equaliser and Lightning stun
guns); Stun Tech Inc (Electronic immobilisation weapons and the REACT belts);
Taser Industries (electronic dart shock weapons); The Edge Company (Thunderbolt
stun gun); American Handcuff Co., (leg irons); C&S Security (gang transport
chains); Smith & Wesson (belly chains and other restraining equipment);
Technipol International (leg irons and thumbcuffs); Tobin Tool and Die
(shackles); WS Darley (leg irons and belly chains) – to name but a few companies
who have advertised their wares. This information has been collected from
company brochures, Police & Security News (various volumes) and Thomas
Register (1992).

166. Confirmation of these fears was provided by a secret
list of licenses issued by the Commerce Department over the last decade that
was obtained by the US magazine ‘Counterpunch’, (October 1, 1995), that was
not made available to FAS. It cited Air Parts International’s export to Yemen
of shock batons with high voltage, Creative Security’s export of shock batons
to Saudi Arabia; Jonas Aircraft and Arms export of saps – (lead bludgeons
covered with leather) to Egypt and shock batons to Saudi Arabia in 1992;
Nova Technologies export of electronic stun guns to the Philippines; Premier
Crown Corporation’s export of twenty six inch shock batons with hot centre
to Saudi Arabia; Smith & Wesson’s export of shock batons and mace batons
to both Saudi Arabia & Yemen; Transtechnology Corporation’s export of
riot shields with Arabic inscription to Yemen; and Tri County Police Supplies
export of shock batons to Thailand.


167. On November 13, 1995, The US Secretary of Commerce
informed the speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, that he had disaggregated
these items to form a new ECCN. OA83D on the Commerce Control List. Commerce
also added a new section to the Export Administration Regulations. Section
776.19, “Implements of Torture” to further segregate these items. (Brown,
1995). Yet even after this review took place, it was disclosed that the US
government had approved the sale of thumbcuffs to Russia,; blackjacks, stun
guns and shock batons to Lithuania, Moldova, Panama and Tanzania; and electronic
riot shields and batons to Mexico.(Lelyveld, 1996).

168. Amnesty is careful to point out in its reports that
it is not making any accusation against any company of direct complicity
in torture but that these companies have offered to supply since 1990. It
is not a definitive list because of the difficulty in obtaining data on the
subject in many countries and because of the inevitable business and market

169. The Belgium companies are thought to be Belgium Business
International (BBI), Browning and Falcon Security & Telecommunications.
In June 1996, De Morgen newspaper quoted a BBI salesman, ‘We work via other
countries like Spain or no . . . the easiest is Paris. But if you have your
own transitoire [middleman] we just deliver to them..We have several models.
The most useful is no bigger than two packs of cigarettes and gives shocks
of 150,000 volts. The problem with this type of weapon is that you have to
stretch your arm to come into contact with the enemy. That’s why I advise
the mattracks [truncheons] with two electrodes at the end – ideal for riot
police or presidential guards. Even last year, the central African Presidential
Guards were equipped with this. Yes, Belgium is rather strict, but Africa
and Latin America permit us to just export it to a middle man and then we
have it depart from there.’

170. The French companies are thought to be Auto F; Doursoux
-Securitec s.a.r.l; Equipol; France Selection; GK Productions; Glam Securite;
Le Protecteur; Nieral & Cie Sarl and SAE Alsetex (See Fig. 53).

171. The German companies are thought to be Bonowi;
Electron-Import & Export; Enforcer (Pulz & Charbit) GmbH; M.S.C;
M.T.S.; M.V.S.; NOWAR Security Equipment GmbH; Otto Boenicke; PK Electronic;
Rennhak Nachtsichtsysteme; Sicherheitstechnik Schmid (STS); Sipe Electronic
GmbH; Solid Company Sicherheitstechnik Import & Export; TEWI Textil Wighardt;
Tradimex Vertriebs GmbH; Waffenhandel Uwe Ulriche; Wapo Electronic GmbH.

172.The company refered to is thought to be Alpha Safety
which advertised such products in 1993 but is thought to be no longer trading.

173. The company referred to is thought to be Reinaert

174. The company referred to is thought to be NitSpy Defensa
Y Contraespionaje.

175. The companies referred to were largely uncovered by
the Channel 4 Dispatches programmes, referred to in the text. (Gregory 1995,1996)
They include British Aerospace Defence Ltd (Royal Ordnance Division); CCS
Communication, Control Inc; Compass Safety International; ICL Technical Plastics
UD; International Procurement Services; J & S Franklin UD; PK Electronic
International UD; SDMS Security Products UD.


JYA Note: A detailed
Bibliography composed
of pages 74-100 is a separate file (85K);or a
Zip-compressed version (32K).

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