“Don’t Tase Me, Frère Jacques!”

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

The taser, that “electroshock weapon” that has already made it’s mark (but not literally, one would hope) in a handful of high-profile incidents in the US, recently crossed the Atlantic to enter service in France. Already in use by the national police, a decree from the Ministry of the Interior of last 22 September authorized them for use by local police forces.

But now something in the way of resistance is popping up. As the Nouvel Observateur reports (no by-line), a French NGO has filed an official request to have that 22 September decree nullified. Specifically, that NGO is “The Network for Alert and Intervention for Human Rights,” known by its French initials as “RAIDH.” Now, RAIDH has already found itself dragged into a court case by the company “SMP Technologies – Taser France” for allegedly having financed the activities of one Olivier Besancenot, whose political position is that of spokesman for the extreme-leftist League of Communist Revolutionaries, and who is currently on trial before a French court for defaming SMP Technologies by claiming that the taser has already been responsible for 150 deaths in the US. (“Espionage” is another charge Besancenot is on trial for; that was presumably also directed against SMP Technologies, but I can’t find much in the way of further details.) (more…)

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