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The trade in torture goods must stop: European Parliament tightens controls on tools of torture

Europe has the leading role in the fight against torture and the abolition of the death penalty, but there are still loopholes in our legislation that need to be closed. During today’s vote, Members of the European Parliament gave their green light to an update of the current Anti-Torture Regulation and agreed on stricter EU rules on the trade in goods or substances that may be misused for torture and capital punishment.

Under the new regulation, the current ban on certain goods will be expanded to also include marketing services and the transit of already forbidden goods via the EU. Moreover, these new anti-torture rules will be more flexible and can be quickly adapted to changing technologies and topical developments.
ALDE MEP Marietje Schaake, the European Parliament’s Rapporteur for the revision of the Anti-Torture Regulation, commented today after the vote: „The eradication of the death penalty and torture is an important goal of European trade and foreign policy. The EU condemns the death penalty and torture everywhere. Therefore it is crucial that we have strong and credible policy to make sure that Europe does not contribute to these practices.”

“With these new updated rules we broaden the scope of the regulation, making sure we include more of the worldwide trade in these products and ensure that Europeans are not involved. In the future, we will need to see whether European citizens selling these products outside the EU should also be covered in the regulation. The EU is the biggest trading bloc in the world, so our export control laws have effect on worldwide trade flows. In this way we can strengthen our values through trade policy.”

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