External resources relating to Equipment, training and tactics

Three people have been critically injured after security forces fired live rounds at anti-coup protesters in north-western Myanmar, medics said, as south-east Asian powers met to pressure the junta over its deadly crackdown.

...The Myanmar military’s ‘True News Information Unit’ said in a statement that security forces only deployed non-lethal weapons. However, images show a member of the police (pictured above) wielding a Myanmar-made BA-94 or BA-93 Uzi clone, a Myanmar-made variant of this sub-machine gun.

US law enforcement officers used British anti-riot gear to strike protesters during their controversial policing of Black Lives Matter demonstrations, despite assurances from the Conservative government that no UK-made equipment was used to repress peaceful protest.

At least seven people have been killed in protests in Colombia as outrage spreads over the death of a man who was pinned to the ground and repeatedly tasered by police in Bogotá.

Video of the incident shows 46-year-old Javier Ordóñez begging the officers to stop and telling them "I am choking". The officers were arresting him for allegedly breaking social distancing rules by drinking with friends.

He was taken to a police station and later moved to hospital, where he died.

The British products were apparently fired at crowds in Athens who were protesting against a controversial new law introduced by the Greek government which restricts the right to demonstrate.

Campaign Against Arms Trade and Amnesty International say the use of tear gas is an “indiscriminate weapon” which should have no place in policing. Both groups have called for an investigation and for the UK government to stop exporting the product to Greece. In reply, the UK government said it takes its export responsibilities “seriously”.

For the past week, our social media and television screens have been dominated by images of police officers in head-to-toe body armor wielding batons, pepper-ball guns, riot shields, and teargas against mostly peaceful protesters. Many Americans are now more certain than ever that we need to “demilitarize” our police.

The US is still in the grip of violent confrontations between police and protesters after the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man who died in Minneapolis on 25 May after a police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes... Since 1997, the US Department of Defense has transferred more than $7.2bn in military equipment to law enforcement agencies. 

In the months before the world went into lockdown to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Chile were rising up in their thousands to demand an end to neoliberal polices that have created a society rife with inequality. On the streets, protesters were met with gunfire, tear gas, water cannons and rubber bullets. Behind the closed doors of interrogation cells, they were met with torture, rape and sexual violence.

Iraqi security forces intended to kill or maim protesters when they fired Serbian- and Iranian-produced tear gas grenades at demonstrating crowds in Baghdad, a 3D video reconstruction by Amnesty International and SITU Research reveals.

In early February, mourners came together to remember the life of 37-year-old Jorge Mora – a man whose life ended on 28 January, hours after a police truck slammed into him outside a football stadium... protestors and mourners were soon fleeing stinging tear gas fired off by riot police who showed little care for where and who they aimed at.

A British university which trains Bharani police studying at a base that activists say is a well-known “torture hub” is teaching a blood-stained degree, a rights group has said.

The University of Huddersfield runs a masters course in security science for officers and recruits at the Middle East country’s Royal Academy of Policing.

But witness statements suggest a prison there may have been the scene of electrocutions, rape and beating of inmates – many of them political prisoners.
Iraqi authorities say they played no part in importing military-grade tear gas grenades used by Iraqi forces to deadly effect against protesters in October. A BIRN investigation, however, shows the Serbian-made grenades were part of an arms deal between Belgrade and Baghdad and shipped direct to the Iraqi defence ministry in 2009.

As the showdown between police and protesters in Hong Kong has intensified, officers have used increasing force, deploying an arsenal of crowd-control measures and weapons, including tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets, sponge grenades and bean bag rounds.

It was, at first sight, just an ordinary rush hour scene at Birmingham’s New Street station. Three cops from the British Transport Police ordering flat whites in a cafe, amid a short break on what must have been a busy shift. One was armed with a pistol and kevlared-up, the others were wearing stab vests and bulky tactical clothing. All were equipped with earpieces, tasers, pepper sprays - and all were tense, scanning the busy street intently as they waited for their drinks. 

Armored vehicles manufactured in France by Renault Trucks Defense, a subsidiary of Arquus, appear to have recently been used by the Egyptian police, according to an open source investigation by Disclose and its investigative partners.

This new information appears to contradict a statement President Macron made during a January 2019 press conference with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in which he said it was “very clear” French armored vehicles should be used for “exclusively military” purposes — in other words, that they should not be used by police, in whose hands they could become involved in the repression of Egypt’s own citizens. Human rights abuses by Egyptian police are well-documented.

The activist Joshua Wong has called for Germany to stop the export of riot control weapons and equipment to Hong Kong police, as he embarked on a global tour to promote his pro-democracy message.

Hong Kong police were using water cannon manufactured in Germany to suppress the protests against a proposed new extradition bill that flared up on the streets of the city in late March, the prominent activist said. “They [German manufacturers] should not be the supporters of Hong Kong riot police.”

 

Standards and specifications of arms and ammunitions commonly used by the police during protest dispersal operations state they can cause serious injuries or death when fired at close range or improperly.

Rubber bullets, bean bag rounds and tear gas rounds that are categorised as “low-risk” could also be lethal if fired at people’s heads. At least four reporters have been hit in the head with police projectiles since protests began in June.

Police fired several rounds of teargas at protesters in residential areas of Hong Kong in the third day of mass protests as political unrest in Hong Kong deepens.

Groups of protesters attending an anti-government rally on Sunday defied police orders and fanned out from the sanctioned area in central Hong Kong, streaming west and east, occupying roads and setting up barricades, prompting major roads and shops to close.

A gilets jaunes (yellow vests) demonstrator injured in the eye at a demonstration in Paris will be disabled for life, his lawyer has said.

Jérôme Rodrigues, a high-profile member of the protest movement, claims he was struck by a “flash-ball”, a launcher used by French riot police to fire large rubber pellets. They have been blamed for dozens of injuries, some serious, including the loss of an eye.

On the surface, Noor Noor and Terry Burns don't have much in common. The former is a 28-year-old student at Cambridge, getting a degree in environmental conservation that he plans to use back home in Cairo, Egypt. The latter sells lawn ornaments and homegrown vegetables out of her house in the rolling farmlands of Jamestown, Pennsylvania, population 617. They've never met.

But Noor and Burns are linked by the global trade in nonlethal weapons, a growing industry that burst into the headlines recently when the U.S. Border Patrol tear gassed asylum-seekers on the country's southern border. It's the most recent, high-profile incident in a decade that has seen rising use of tear gas around the world.

Yesterday (Wednesday 13th June), the Paris Police Prefecture carried out live demonstrations at the Eurosatory arms fair. The scenario was an anti-terrorist operation. There were also demonstrations by the National Gendarmerie Intervention Group (GIGN) and the Research and Intervention Brigade (BRI).

Some distance from where the anti-Sterlite protesters were, a Tamil Nadu policeman in plainclothes had parked himself atop a police bus. He was armed with what appeared to be an assault rifle and had been seen in photographs, taking aim. On the road below, are a large number of policemen. Some of them wearing bullet-proof vests, some without protection in their khaki and some riot-control policemen. Then, someone decides to send another policeman to the roof of the bus. According to a video released by news agency ANI, he crawls the length of the bus in a few seconds like an expert commando, takes his position and the assault rifle.

A police operation in a Rio favela has left at least eight people dead amid allegations that some of the victims were innocent residents executed in a revenge mission after a police officer was killed there this week. Police said they were attacked by drug gangsters.

The bloody operation in the Rocinha favela, located near postcard beaches like Leblon, came six months after the army briefly occupied the favela following a week of gun battles between rival drug gangs, and five weeks after president Michel Temer put the military in charge of Rio security.

Yesterday was Mother’s Day in Bahrain. And it was yesterday that my wife, Duaa Alwadaei, the beloved mother of my two children, was handed a prison sentence. Not because she committed any crime, but because I protested in London when the King of Bahrain visited Downing Street in 2016. She is not the only one to face reprisals because of my human rights activism in London. Her mother, brother and cousin all languish in Bahrain’s notorious prisons. Tortured and convicted after a flawed trial.

The police, prisons and courts that have done this to my family were all trained by Britain, in multimillion-pound projects funded by the UK taxpayer. Far from raising human rights standards in Bahrain, British-trained bodies have failed to investigate torture allegations – paving the way for Bahrain’s kangaroo courts to sentence people based on coerced confessions.

How did tear gas became the go-to weapon in riot control, what are its real health implications, and why should we trace the money when it comes to understanding the increase in crowd-control weapons around the world?