US "Less lethal munition" identified in Iraq

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A Twitter user has allegedly identified a "less lethal" weapon used against protesters in Iraq as being made by US company AmTec Less Lethals Systems, or ALS. Ayat Baha posted a photo of a small hand held canister with the product number ALS09NR, and the company name.

Campaign Against Arms Trade said "International human rights law & policing standards state that it should never be thrown at a person or in a manner which may result in detonating on or near a person. (only to be used in limited circumstances e.g. hostage rescue)." According to the company's website, the weapon is an ALS09NR "diversionary device", which produces 174db from five feet, and a bright burst of light, as well as a "significant pressure wave that adds to the disorienting physiological effects."

At least 44 people have been killed by the Iraqi security services in a heavy crack down on protest across Iraq, with police using live ammunition, tear gas and water cannon. The government has imposed curfews and cut access to the internet.

AmTec Less Lethal Systems (ALS) specialises in a wide range of “less lethal” weapons and equipment designed for use by police, law enforcement, security, prison and military personnel. Amtec makes products in a factory and training centre based in Florida, and employs around 50 people. In October 2018 ALS was acquired by a company called PACEM Defence, which the company said would allow “PACEM to expand into emerging markets such as the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the Middle East and Africa (ME&A), East Europe, and Asia.” You can see our full profile on the company here: https://wri-irg.org/en/story/2019/amtec-less-lethal-systems

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