China Exports These 'Tools of Torture' To Vulnerable Countries, Report Says

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

More than 130 Chinese companies are exporting “tools of torture” which fuel human rights violations in Africa and Asia, according to an Amnesty International report.

The group says some of the products, including shock batons and spiked batons, are “intrinsically cruel” and should be banned.

"While some of the exports are no doubt used in legitimate law enforcement operations, China has also exported equipment that has inhumane effects, or poses a substantial risk of fuelling human rights violations by foreign law enforcement agencies," the report said.

The weapons are being exported to vulnerable countries, including Senegal, Egypt, Ghana, Cambodia and Nepal. One firm which sells thumb cuffs, stun guns, restraint chairs and spike batons reportedly has links to more than 40 African countries.

China banned torture in 2013, but it’s still the only country that manufactures spike batons. Amnesty says the weapon is "specifically designed as implements of torture.”

The group called the shock baton an “abusive restraint device.”

"These devices make it easy for security officials to apply extremely painful multiple shocks by hand to sensitive areas of the body including the genitals, throat, groin or ears without long-lasting physical traces," the report said.

"China's flawed export system has allowed the trade in torture and repression to prosper," said Patrick Wilcken, a security trade and human rights researcher at Amnesty.

The group says China should "fundamentally reform its trade regulations to end the irresponsible transfer of law enforcement equipment to agencies who will likely use it to violate human rights."

Sources: BBC News, CNN

Image credit: Flickr Creative Commons / Terry Robinson, Amnesty International