Security forces worldwide increasingly use rubber and plastic bullets to suppress peaceful protests violently. As a result, dozens have died, and thousands have been maimed. This is evident from a report by Amnesty International on Tuesday.
The human rights organisation is calling for a global treaty to regulate the trade in rubber bullets.
In the report ‘My Eye Exploded’, Amnesty International describes how demonstrators and bystanders are affected by the often reckless and disproportionate use of ‘less lethal weapons’, such as rubber bullets and tear gas grenades. The report, produced in collaboration with the Omega Research Foundation, is based on research conducted in more than 30 countries over the past five years.
The human rights organisation also mentions using a projectile launcher from the Belgian manufacturer FN Herstal. The human rights organisation reports that the FN303 has been used in a problematic manner against demonstrators in Turkey and Thailand.
The use of all “less-lethal weapons” has led to dozens of deaths worldwide and caused an alarming increase in eye injuries, sometimes even complete loss of sight, Amnesty charges. Other victims suffered broken bones and skulls, brain injuries, internal injuries, bleeding, or pierced hearts and lungs from broken ribs.
Amnesty International is calling for stricter rules. For example, the weapons must not be used to disperse demonstrators but must be limited to situations where violent individuals pose an immediate threat. In addition, there must be strict controls on global production and trade. For example, Amnesty International calls for a treaty to be drawn up under UN supervision that guarantees the “torture-free trade” in law enforcement equipment.