French fair shuts stand after Amnesty finds ‘torture tool’

PARIS — A military and police trade fair outside Paris shut down a contentious stand Wednesday after the human rights group Amnesty International said its staff had found torture equipment for sale in violation of European Union laws.

Muriel Kafantaris, director of the Milipol trade fair, said the fair’s organizers decided to ‘‘close the stand involved immediately’’ after Amnesty reported on illegal items being displayed.

Amnesty said researchers found equipment including ‘‘spiked batons, spiked electric shock riot forks, electric shock vests, and heavy leg irons for sale by Chinese companies.’’


The rights group said the ‘‘gruesome illegal torture equipment’’ was on sale at the trade fair taking place this week in Villepinte, outside Paris.

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Amnesty’s arms control adviser, Ara Marcen Naval, said that ‘‘by failing to enforce the law, France is providing a marketplace for torturers.’’

Milipol Paris claims to be the world’s leading event dedicated to homeland security. The fair hosts hundreds of exhibitors from dozens of countries every two years.

More than 150 official international delegations from nearly 100 countries usually visit, it says.

associated press