National Preventive Mechanism

Electric shock weapons

For some time now, the Ombudsman, in its capacity as the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (NPM), has been observing that the various police forces are increasingly being equipped with electric discharge weapons (taser guns). In this regard, inspection visits carried out by the NPM have revealed the existence of tasers in some police forces. The use of these devices may affect fundamental rights such as the right to life and physical integrity, which is a matter of concern for the Ombudsman. Since any police force may have such weapons at its disposal, the NPM considers it necessary to urgently address state regulation by establishing common guidelines on the use of electric shock weapons. In this way, all police forces with these weapons, at the national, regional and local levels, will be subject to a common regulatory framework that will serve to protect the rights of citizens against whom they are used, thus preventing disproportionate responses. Recommendation (link)