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Last Updated: Friday, 22 September 2006, 12:18 GMT 13:18 UK
Website to fight police stun guns
Taser stun guns are used by police forces in Britain
Taser stun guns are used by police forces in Britain
A human rights organisation has launched a website to fight PSNI proposals to use stun guns.

Amnesty International is against proposals by Chief Constable Hugh Orde to introduce taser guns.

Patrick Corrigan said Amnesty reported more than 150 deaths since 2001 related to the use of tasers in the USA.

US-based company Taser International said they were non-lethal devices which deliver "a small amount of electricity which makes muscles contract".

Amnesty is urging people to lobby Sir Hugh and Sir Desmond Rea of the Policing Board about their concerns.

"We think there should be an informed public debate before any decision is taken about deploying tasers in Northern Ireland," Mr Corrigan, Amnesty International's NI programme director said.

"This website is just part of Amnesty's campaign to get information to the public and public representatives about the potential dangers of using tasers."

In March, Sir Hugh signalled his intention to introduce tasers as one of the weapons under consideration for the PSNI.

The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission has expressed concerns at the plan to arm PSNI officers with the guns.

The commission's chief executive Paddy Sloan said that while they were in favour of the police being armed with less lethal alternatives to firearms, not enough independent research had been conducted into the effects of tasers.

"We are particularly concerned about the potential risks to children, people with mental illness, older people and pregnant women," she said.




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28 Mar 06 |  Northern Ireland

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