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 AFP via Getty Images

25th October 2022, 07:55:08 UTC

Across the world police and military forces are using tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray and batons to crush peaceful protests. Thousands of protesters have suffered severe, life-changing injuries or even death.

We need a legally-binding global treaty to regulate the trade in policing equipment to ensure it does not end up in the hands of abusive police forces.

Lebanese security forces have misused a variety of French-manufactured weapons to suppress protests, recklessly firing tear gas and rubber bullets directly into crowds. Among the many wounded was Jean George Prince who needed reconstructive surgery after being shot in the face with a rubber bullet on 18 January 2019, and Jad who on 8 August 2020 was struck in the face by a tear gas canister which broke his nose. A treaty regulating this equipment could prevent more people from being harmed in this way.

Policing equipment is being used against people peacefully protesting against rises in cost of living, poor public services, corruption, rigged elections, environmental destruction or house demolitions. They could be our friends, family, or even us.

Although trade controls on some law enforcement equipment are in force in some countries, most states have no effective human rights-based controls at all. We now can create a strong, global, legally-binding Torture-Free Trade Treaty to regulate the trade in the weapons often used to undermine the right to peacefully protest.

Sign the petition calling for the UN and all states to regulate the trade in policing equipment.

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