A growing number of Chinese companies are exporting “tools of torture” such as electric shock batons and spiked metal batons, Amnesty International has said in a report.
More than 130 firms were involved in the trade, which the rights group said was fuelling abuses in Africa and Asia. They added that these instruments were likely to be used to commit human rights violations.
Amnesty said China was the only country known to manufacture spiked batons, which it said were “specifically designed as implements of torture”.
Seven Chinese companies were advertising these goods, it said, while 29 were selling electric stun batons.
“These devices make it easy for security officials to apply extremely painful multiple shocks by hand to sensitive areas of the body including the genitals, throat, groin or ears without long-lasting physical traces,” the group said.
Many more were advertising “abusive restraint devices” including weighted leg cuffs and rigid restraint chairs, it said.
Customers include Senegal, Egypt, Ghana, Cambodia and Nepal. One company selling thumb cuffs, restraint chairs, electric shock stun guns and batons said it had links with more than 40 African nations.
China was not the only state that should urgently review its regulations.
“The international trade in equipment intended for law enforcement is relatively unregulated by most states, especially in comparison to controls on transfers of most types of conventional military weapons and munitions,” the report said.