Swiss Arms in Hong Kong – Sales of Crowd-control Equipment to HK Police MUST END

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‘Raptors’, a notorious paramilitary unit of the Hong Kong police, will be issued Swiss-made pistols that fire a crippling burst of pepper spray. Shame on Switzerland for turning a blind eye to escalating police brutality.

The sales of these weapons to the Hong Kong government, which has evidently lost all of its credibility for how it handled last year’s protests, is at odds with the Swiss image as a peace-broker and a promoter of human rights.


In the past, the Hong Kong Police have shown little concern about the restrictive use of force; they have intentionally aimed for the heads at close range while showing no sympathy even for children. Not to mention other human rights violations such as detaining first-aiders and journalists.

We have all seen shocking scenes of the Hong Kong Police rampaging with pepper-spray in shopping malls packed with people, even on holidays like Mother’s Day.

Manufactured by Piexon, a Swiss company specialised in producing pepper-based weapons, the JPX4 pistol fires pellets of pressurised irritants with high ejection velocity that cause temporary blindness, extreme pain to the nose, throat, and lungs.


Although Piexon claims that the pepper-pistol is ‘safer than a Taser’, this equipment is no less lethal. Daniel Graf, the spokesperson of Amnesty International Switzerland, has pointed out that both of the weapons are equally dangerous.

Regrettably, the Swiss government’s vetting of export permits based on human rights abuses has proven to be insufficient. In 2014, the Swiss parliament lifted arms export restrictions, allowing arms export to countries which ‘violate human rights in a systematic manner.’ Swiss-made weapons have always found their way to autocratic regimes, where they have been deployed to suppress protests and insurgencies.

In 2014, Swiss-made sniper rifles were used to gun down civilians in Kiev’s Maidan square during the Ukrainian Revolution, while the Saudi Arabian military used Swiss-made APCs to crack down on Bahrain protests in 2011.

With Beijing tightening its grip on Hong Kong’s resistance amidst the Covid-19 crisis, who can guarantee that we won’t be seeing Swiss assault rifles next, found in the hands of Hong Kong police hunting down civilians?

Sales of crowd-control equipment to HK police must end. The free world must work together to stop extensive human rights abuses by cops backed by Communist China. Pressure your local government to sanction Beijing. Say no to a communist Hong Kong.

 

Sunny Cheung | Spokesperson of Network DIPLO

Joshua Wong | Secretary-General of Demosisto
 
Nathan Law | Standing Committee Member of Demosisto