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Police laws on use of force approved

Police have been given the go-ahead to use stun guns under new laws applicable from January 1 governing the use of force.

The legislation approved by the cabinet on Wednesday aims to ensure a minimum infringement of individuals' rights by police using violence or weapons.

It lays down strict conditions for the use of Taser devices. Among the scenarios where the use of stun guns would be permitted would be an attempted aeroplane hijacking or when overpowering people who endanger themselves or others.

The law will apply to federal authorities and cantonal authorities acting under orders from the government, for example when expelling foreigners or transporting detainees.

The Federal Justice Office has been asked to prepare an evaluation report on the new regulations after two years.