External resources relating to Equipment, training and tactics

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.

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.

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. 

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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?

Police forces are to receive a £50m funding boost to help the fight against terrorism.  The extra cash will increase intelligence and surveillance capabilities and pay for armed officers to patrol city centres.

"Maintaining command when violence is erupting all around and missiles are flying is crucial for a military leader – but learning the skills can be a baptism of fire. Public order is soldiering up close and personal. And squaring up to mock rioters is a key part of the training experience for the next generation of Army officers."

On Friday afternoon, 08 December 2017, in excessive use of force, Israeli forces killed 4 Palestinians, including 2 civilians, and wounded 259 others, including 32 children and 4 women, in the Gaza Strip and West Bank in protests and airstrikes carried out by Israeli warplanes.  This escalation occurred following the American President Donald Trump’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and the American Embassy will be moved to it, constituting a dangerous precedent and violating the international law.

This huge number of victims indicate that Israeli force continue to commit crimes and use excessive force against Palestinian civilians in disregard for their lives.  The follow-up by the Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR’s) fieldworkers showed that most of the injuries in the eastern Gaza Strip were in the lower limbs in addition to the abdomen and back and also being directly hit with tear gas canisters.  The Israeli forces also obstructed the medical crews’ work by targeting two ambulances in Khan Younis with rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters.

Climate change, increased global migration, and expanding border enforcement are three linked phenomena guaranteed to come to an explosive head in this century.

Proposed legislation in Mexico that would enshrine the role of the armed forces in law enforcement is deeply worrying, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein said on Tuesday.

“I fully recognize that Mexico faces a huge security challenge, given the violence and fear sown by powerful, organized crime groups. But more than a decade after the armed forces were deployed in the so-called war on drugs, violence has not abated and many human rights violations and abuses, including extrajudicial killings, torture and enforced disappearances, continue to be committed by various State and non-State actors,” said Zeid.

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, using the specter of rampant crime and the drug trade, won extensive support from the American government to build up highly trained state security forces. Now, those same forces are repressing democracy.

The post-election situation in Honduras continues to deteriorate as Hernández, a conservative leader and stalwart U.S. ally in Central America, has disputed the result of last week’s vote while working to crack down on protests sweeping the nation.

What is the logic behind increasingly militarised protest policing? What are the costs of this strategy? And in what ways is resistance to aggressive policing growing?

A UK-registered mining company, which is now part of Glencore, is facing claims in a London court that it hired security forces to mistreat environmental activists protesting about a copper mine in Peru.... The copper mine in Peru was at the time owned by Xstrata Tintaya, a firm later renamed Companía Minera Antapaccay. Xstrata was alleged to have paid the equivalent of £700,000 for the services of about 1,300 Peruvian national police and provided them with weapons such as rubber bullets and teargas, as well as food and accommodation.

As a national organizer for the War Resisters League’s “No SWAT Zone” campaign, I know firsthand that communities around the country are concerned about the dangerous effect such police militarization gatherings have on all policing. Last week’s SWAT Round-Up schedule included competition days between participating SWAT teams, vendor expos featuring ballistic weapons for purchase, workshops and competition exercises. Weapons exhibitors included teargas giant The Safariland Group, Smith and Wesson guns, and Lenco armored vehicles. Also present were companies that self-identify as “philosophy” or “lifestyle” brands, aiming “to better our brotherhood first and foremost.”