EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström has announced that on 18 September the European Union will be launching a new initiative to ‘stop the trade in goods used for torture and the death penalty’.
In a statement on the initiative, the Alliance for Torture-Free Trade, the European Commission pointed out that while international law bans torture in all circumstances, ‘…tools of death and pain are still traded across the globe. These include batons with metal spikes, electric shock belts, and grabbers that seize people by the waist or limb while electrocuting them, chemicals used to execute people and the forced injection systems that go with them.’
Commissioner Malmström said that while the EU’s own laws have had positive results, ‘producers of these goods try to get around such legislation. The more countries that sign up to cooperate, the more effective we will be. During my time as Commissioner and Member of the European Parliament, I have met victims of torture on many occasions – refugees, prisoners of conscience, death row inmates. I am convinced that trade policy can be a way to strengthen human rights around the globe.’
The Alliance for Torture-Free Trade has a website at: http://www.torturefreetrade.org/
See also: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-17-3088_en.htm