Taser use sanctioned by government

The cabinet supports the continued use of electroshock “Taser” weapons by the country’s police forces.

This content was published on February 16, 2011 - 14:32
swissinfo.ch and agencies

In a reply to parliament, the government said however that the stun guns should only be used after weighing up the benefits and risks.






Tasers have been part of the arsenal of most of Switzerland’s cantonal police forces since 2003, and of the federal border police since 2009.

The government report issued on Wednesday said that the electroshock guns had been used 52 times over the past eight years – in 42 of the cases the Taser was fired at a person, and in the other ten the person gave themselves up to the police when threatened with the weapon.

On top of that, hundreds of trials have been carried out on police volunteering to be struck by the gun’s electrical current.

The study found that nine people had to undergo a medical examination after being hit, and three of these suffered slight injuries.

Virtually excluded by the findings is the risk of suffering cardiac arrest after being struck by the gun’s current.

In 2007, the United Nations Committee Against Torture said that use of Taser weapons could be a form of torture, in violation of the UN Convention Against Torture.

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