UK – British soldiers in Iraq filmed playing with illegal taser torture device (2008-09-04)

Published on September 4 2008 by admin

Two British soldiers, filmed apparently stunning each other with an illegal electric-shock torture device, are facing disciplinary action.

By Chris Irvine
Last Updated: 5:21PM BST 04 Sep 2008
The two men, claiming to be from the Royal Engineers, appeared to have filmed themselves with the electric-shock device while off-duty at a military base in Iraq.
The footage, posted on YouTube and entitled ‘Taser fun!’, involves the two young soldiers commenting on how much it hurts to be tasered.
“We’re gonna taser each other,” says one, before they move on to attack each other, shouting out in apparent pain. After being shocked with the device, one of the soldiers says: ‘Don’t get done with a taser – it f****** hurts.’
Human rights organisation Amnesty International confirmed the device was an electric-shock baton, and the organisation is now demanding to know how British troops gained access to them.
Amnesty International UK’s Oliver Sprague said: “What Amnesty wants to know is why are British soldiers brandishing an electro-shock baton? These devices are illegal to own or sell in the UK because they are so widely used in torture all over the world.
“Electro-shock batons inflict severe pain at the touch of a button and leave no marks, earning them the title ‘the torturer’s tool of choice’.
“We’re not saying that these soldiers have used this to inflict pain on anyone except each other. But it’s seriously worrying if British soldiers are able to obtain these devices so easily and film themselves mucking about with torture equipment.”
The pair, who have not yet been identified, are likely to be disciplined, according to military authorities.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence said: “We can confirm that the chain of command and the Royal Military police have been alerted to the existence of this incident and are investigating. The device they are using is not military issue, and such items are not permitted in theatre.
“Service personnel are given direction as to what items are prohibited on operations and the device would fall into that category. Individuals found in possession of such items will be subject to disciplinary or administrative action as appropriate.”

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