06 May 2011
Stop the trade in torture and death penalty equipment

As recently as October 2010, a drug called sodium thiopental was exported from the UK to the USA, where it was used by the State of Arizona in the execution of Jeffrey Landrigan.

This should not have happened.

Europe is the world leader in the fight against transfers of equipment which could be used for capital punishment, torture or cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment or punishment. But, a loophole in current laws means that such equipment is still ending up in the wrong hands.

The European Commission has the power to change this situation immediately, by improving and implementing the EU rules controlling such transfers, but so far it has done nothing.

Add your name to our petition and demand that the Commission acts now to strengthen its ban on the trade in ‘tools of torture’!

Take Action now!
Sign the petition below calling on José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, to make this work a priority

Dear President Barroso,

It has now been over a year since Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation published the report “From Words to Deeds: making the EU ban in ‘tools of torture’ a reality”, which contained a number of recommendations for the European Commission to improve the effectiveness of Council Regulation (EC) No. 1236/2005.

Since the report’s publication, it has become even more urgent for the Commission to act owing to the reported use of drugs sourced in the EU in US executions. This is exactly the trade that the Regulation was intended to control.

There are simple steps that could be taken immediately, however, largely due to lack of resources, the Commission has still not taken any decisive action.

We call on you as President of the European Commission to make it your personal priority to:

  • Ensure that sufficient Commission resources are given to following up on implementation and revision of the Regulation
  • Update the Regulation’s annexes, to include controls on those drugs currently being sourced in the EU for executions in the USA, in addition to those items listed in the Amnesty International/ Omega Research Foundation report of March 2010 
  • Organise a meeting of trade experts from across the EU (the Committee on Common Rules for Exports) to take place as soon as possible, to discuss the use of drugs in executions in the USA and to agree on a change to the Regulation to include a new end-use ‘catch-all’ clause.

Thank you,

Image: © Armin Kübelbeck


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