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Thursday, August 07, 2008

Swiss police task force to assess taser risks

August 7, 2008
World Radio Switzerland

There’s renewed debate in the Swiss press this week over the use of Taser guns, following the death two weeks ago of a Canadian teenager who’d been stunned by the electroshock weapon.

The 17-year-old died in Winnipeg – thousands of miles from Switzerland – but officials here say they’re examining cases like his in order to assess the risks posed by Tasers.

Their use is allowed in a number of Swiss cantons, in particular larger cantons such as Bern and Zurich. And that number is steadily increasing, according to Urs Geissbühler, the secretary-general of the conference of cantonal police commanders. Speaking to WRS’s Catherine Allen, Mr Geissbühler says a task force is currently assessing the dangers of Taser guns – but that for now, there are no statistics on how they’re being used across the country as a whole.

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