Amnesty International airs taser concern

Electric stun guns being introduced in 12 Italian cities

(ANSA) - Rome, September 5 - Amnesty International's Italian chapter on Wednesday wrote to national police chief Franco Gabrielli voicing concern over the introduction of tasers in 12 Italian cities today.
    While recognising that tasers were "safer" than other instruments in stopping "dangerous and aggressive individuals", the letter said, "in several instances in countries where they already in use they have been employed against vulnerable people or those who do no represent a serious and immediate threat to other people's lives and safety".
    It said available medical studies "concur in saying that the use of Taser pistoles had mortal consequences on subjects with cardiac disorders or whose functions, in the moment they were hit, were compromised by alcohol or drugs or were under stress for example at the end of a fight or a run".
    AI Italy chief Gianni Ruffini asked Gabrielli whether in the light of these studies a "thoroughgoing assessment of the risks involved has been carried out and specific training provised in line with international standards and in particular with the United Nations guiding principles on the suse of firearms by police".