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Banned stun guns and leg irons were advertised at DSEi arms fair

repost | 17.09.2005 21:56 | DSEi 2005 | Anti-militarism | Repression | London

"Peacekeeping" Perhaps?

More news about DSEi - this from yesterday's Guardian:

Banned stun guns and leg irons advertised at arms fair,10674,1571455,00.html

Richard Norton-Taylor
Friday September 16, 2005
The Guardian

Leg irons, stun guns, and stun batons - banned for export under British law - are being advertised in catalogues at the international arms fair in London's Docklands. The instruments feature in the catalogues of an Israeli company, TAR Ideal, which describes itself as world leader in supplying riot control gear.

The company advertises batons which it describes as a "powerful defensive weapon for stunning and hitting". When used as a baton it delivers a debilitating 300,000 volt shock. A stun gun on offer is said to deliver a high voltage shock, immobilising a potential attacker for several minutes. The company describes its "leg cuffs" as of "all-steel construction", with a "rust-resistant nickel finish" and "sturdy, loadable, foot chain".

One of the first acts of the Labour government in 1997 was to ban the export of equipment which could be used for torture, including "portable devices designed or modified for riot control purposes, or self-protection to administer an electric shock, including electric-shock batons ... stun guns [and] leg irons".

The government last year extended controls over the export of banned products by saying they applied to any Briton anywhere in the world.

The catalogues on display at the London docklands defence exhibition were discovered by the activist and comedian Mark Thomas.

Representatives from TAR Ideal did not reply to messages about them. However, Angus Taverner, a representative from Perdix Media Operations, which is helping Spearhead, the organisers of the arms fair, said TAR Ideal was advertising but "not selling the equipment at the show".

Mr Thomas yesterday approached the Israeli company with the catalogues, suggesting he was interested in buying the stun guns. According to a transcript of the conversation, the company said its name could be removed from the weapons. It said it did not have any examples of the stun guns or leg irons on show. Mr Thomas said he planned to arrange a meeting with the company today. He said he had also contacted a South African company at the show which made stun batons.

Organisers of the arms show are increasingly sensitive about the sale or promotion of controversial weapons systems by exhibitors. They have asked exhibitors who make cluster bombs, which though not illegal can seriously injure and kill civilians, not to display or discuss them.

MPs of all parties and campaigners against arms sales highlight what they describe as loopholes in many national laws covering the international weapons trade.



Hide the following 9 comments


19.09.2005 22:27

Its despicable that people make such things (and even worse, do so for profit), however if its an Israeli company that makes them - presumably in Israel - then how would a ban on export from the UK be in any way relevant?



19.09.2005 22:49

Whats your point?

That having banned them in this country, the state should allow them to be promoted by Israel at a UK state funded event in this country?



20.09.2005 07:30

The first piece tries to make the case that these despicable goods are being exported from this country, in clear contravention of a very proper law. The point I am making is that this is factually incorrect. They are perhaps being promoted, perhaps even the deals are being done, but unless they are actually being exported from the UK then no law has been broken.

Instead of going for this kind of headline grabbing, poor quality analysis the author - if he's purporting to lodge news - should get his facts straight. I would have thought that calling for a further change in the law would have been sensible. But consider a point. Cannabis use in the UK is illegal, but it is not illegal to promote its use. Do you really want to set a precedent on arms which could clobber other areas?



20.09.2005 08:23

The title is stolen from the Guardian .


But they did break the law

20.09.2005 16:22

Under UK law it is illegal for people within the UK (this includes those visiting) to promote the sale of items such as leg irons, electric batons etc.



20.09.2005 20:25

"Under UK law it is illegal for people within the UK (this includes those visiting) to promote the sale of items such as leg irons, electric batons etc."

Really? Which law would this be then?


Yes really!

21.09.2005 09:25

The specific legislation forms part of the Export Control Act 2002, the section covering Trade Controls is aimed at Trafficking and Brokering (including goods that do not transit through the UK). All the relevant information is available on the DTI website under export controls.

P.s. It's called research.


Hey Daisy

21.09.2005 21:25

Post links if you want to be taken seriously. There are enough loons on this site to make one very cynical about unfounded statements.

Bizarrely, a good link is the DSEI clowns' own site:



22.09.2005 10:22

Sorry, I will try harder next time.

For your info, the DTI website

not only has lists of UN and EU embargoes on destinations but also the list of stuff that can not be sold to them either by UK companies or by companies operating in the UK.