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Policing Board Once Again Ignore Human Rights Standards

28 March, 2006

Sinn Féin’s Equality and Human Rights spokesperson Caitríona Ruane MLA has slammed the Policing Board’s contempt for equality and human rights by proposing to introduce the use of Taser electric shock weapons in the North.

Ms Ruane said:

“Sinn Féin welcomes the Human Rights Commission’s response today to the Policing Board in which it highlighted that the case for introducing TASERs, in a limited way or otherwise has not been made.

“In March 2003 the Commission supported the findings of research into plastic bullets and alternatives being proposed and recommended that the PSNI not be equipped with any type of electroshock weaponry.

“The Policing Board will be taking a decision today about whether to introduce a pilot scheme to equip the PSNI with TASERS.

“The reality is that plastic bullets should be banned yet this Policing Board has purchased thousands of new potentially lethal devices and now they are seeking to obtain these equally controversial weapons.

“Sinn Féin has also made representation to the Equality Commission to raise serious concerns about the way in which the Policing Board has totally set aside its legal equality obligations to engage in a transparent and meaningful way on this issue. We believe a two-week consultation exercise demonstrates the degree to which the Policing Board is attempting to have these weapons introduced with least public input into its proposals.”ENDS

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