Experts urge Arab nations to train forces in ‘crowd control’
Defence experts who say many lives could have been saved during Arab uprisings if states used proper crowd control measures sought to tap into a growing market at an Abu Dhabi arms fair. Anti-riot vehicles with sophisticated acoustic repellents have boldly taken their place alongside the likes of Eurofighter’s Typhoon warplane and the bristling firepower of rocket launchers at the arms industry’s biennial quest for petrodollars in the Gulf emirate.
“If a given state lacks the means, the doctrines, and the training for homeland defence and internal security missions, that government is more likely to use lethal means that are disproportionate,” said Steven Adragna of US defence consultancy Arcanum. Riot-control specialists such as South Africa’s Paramount and Turkey’s Otokar are bidding to change an apparent regional mindset by exhibiting their wares at the IDEX arms fair. Paramount’s Ivor Ichikowitz said governments need to be better equipped for crowd control to avoid resorting to use of disproportionate force.
“The riot catastrophe in Egypt, for example, was greatly exacerbated because police were using inappropriate equipment,” said Ichikowitz. “Appropriate and better-quality anti-riot vehicles and equipment increases police safety, thus reducing the pressure they feel in conflict situations.” From inside one such mobile fortress, police can repel rioters using acoustic repellents that emit ear-shattering frequencies over a 30-metre (yard) radius. Adragna said anti-riot gear, which in addition to batons and shields includes shotguns, rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades, can maintain order.
“If an individual policeman is trained on how to use those devices, I think they are perfectly legitimate,” he said. Thousands have been killed in demonstrations that have swept across several Arab countries since December 2010 as security forces used overwhelming force against peaceful protesters demanding political change. Street protests in Syria that began in March 2011 escalated into an armed conflict that the United Nations says has now killed more than 70,000 people. Security forces in Bahrain, where an uprising was crushed in 2011, continue to use tear gas to quell regular Shiite protests and also use shotguns.
In Egypt, security forces under the Islamist government of President Mohamed Morsi appear to have reverted to the same heavy-handed practices used under toppled former strongman Hosni Mubarak. Mauro Della Costanza of Italian shotgun maker Benelli says “Egypt is a big customer. “Egyptian police have several thousand of these,” he said, showing off the company’s M3 shotgun marketed to law enforcement authorities.
Inmate accused of hitting slain guard during riot
JACKSON, Miss. – An inmate charged with participating in a prison riot in Mississippi has been identified as the first person to attack a guard who was beaten to death, federal court records said. Correction officer Catlin Carithers was killed and 20 people were injured in the May 20 riot at the privately run Adams County Correctional Facility in Natchez, which holds illegal immigrants charged with crimes in the United States. Marco Perez-Serrano, also known as Jesus Fernando Ochoa, was indicted Wednesday. He had been charged in an FBI affidavit on Jan. 31, but the case was sealed until Thursday.
The FBI affidavit said inmates stacked food service carts from the kitchen and climbed on to a roof where Carithers was stationed with another guard. The affidavit said Perez-Serrano was the first person seen attacking Carithers when he hit him with a food tray. After other inmates joined in the attack on Carithers, Perez-Serrano was seen hitting another guard with the tray. Perez-Serrano is charged with rioting. Court records did not list an attorney.
The inmates used the keys they took from the guards to get into secured areas of the prison where more correction officers were attacked, the affidavit said. Perez-Serrano was also seen destroying prison property, including a surveillance camera, and fought with members of the special response teams that responded to the riot. Court records said the prisoners were angry about their treatment the day the riot erupted.
Production resumes at Faragalla factories, striking workers arrested
Production resumes at Faragalla factories, striking workers arrested Work resumed at Faraglla processed food factories in Alexandria on Saturday after management let workers enter the production site, said Magdy Abdel-Salam, head of the independent workers’ syndicate at Faragalla Group. Mohamed Farag Amer, chairperson of Faragalla Group, announced on Thursday the continued closure of all the group’s factories in Alexandria amid labour unrest. He claimed he was being blackmailed by striking workers and thus could not “resume production in such conditions.”
Abdel-Salam and 27 other workers have been arrested and put under investigation after managers accused them of inciting violence and destroying private property. The 28 workers are restricted from entering the factory’s premises, said the Egyptian Centre for Trade Union and Workers Services.
The group’s management said the workers’ syndicate had suspended its strike and negotiations were ongoing between management and workers on several issues, including higher wages, temporary employment and working hours. Faragalla Group is a private-sector company established in 1973 by Mohamed Farag Amer. The group has three separate food processing companies, encompassing 22 production lines, according to the group’s website.
Preparations for Sharmila’s Patiala Court appearance all set
IMPHAL, February 22: All necessary measures and arrangements for the physical appearance of Irom Chanu Sharmila before the Patiala Court in New Delhi are in place according to a source. A reliable source told IFP said that Irom Chanu Sharmila is set to appear physically before the court of the Metropolitan Magistrate No. 6 in Room No. 4 of Main Building at Patiala House Court Complex , New Delhi at 10 a.m. on 4 March.
The direction/order by Patiala House court of New Delhi for her physical appearance before the court of Patiala is with regard to a case registered by the Delhi Police against her protest to repeal AFSPA, 1958 from Manipur staged at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi on 5 October, 2006. The Delhi Court had earlier conveyed to the Manipur Central Jail Authority in writing for the physical appearance of the crusader who has been on a fast calling for the Armed Forces Special Power to be repealed at 10 a.m. on 17 October 2012.
Irom Sharmila has not been able to be produced before the court earlier as the security arrangement were not made and the required sum of money for the arrangements of travel to Delhi was not sanctioned from the side of the Home Department of the Manipur Government. Subsequently, the court directed that Irom Chanu Sharmila be made to appear physically during the first week of January. This time as per the Delhi court’s direction, all the arrangements/measures for her physical appearance on 4 March have been ready from the side of the Manipur government.
The source further said that all the required expenditure for her physical appearance before Delhi Court has been sanctioned by the Home Department. A team of officials of three departments will take her from Imphal to Delhi on 3rd March for enabling her to appear physically before Patiala house Court at 10 a.m. on 4 March, 2013. The three officials includes a specialist of the Directorate of Health Services , two officials from Police Department for escorting her and two officials of the Manipur Central Jail. An Assistant Jailor will lead the team comprising of eight persons including Irom Chanu Sharmila.
The eight-member team will leave Tulihal airport, Imphal for New Delhi in an Air India Flight on March 3. It is said that the team will leave New delhi for Imphal in the same Air India Flight on 5 March, 2013 after Irom Sharmila’s appearance before the court on 4 March for which, flight tickets of the team of eight persons have been booked. Permission required for her Imphal-Delhi-Imphal flight from the side of the government has been sought from Civil Aviation Ministry and granted.
Since Irom Chanu Sharmila is an under-trial prisoner (UTP), permission from the Civil Aviation Ministry is integral for taking her in the flight from civil Aviation Ministry is indispensable. It may be mentioned that Irom Sharmila had been taken into judicial custody 1958 under FIR No. 95 (3) 2012 U/S 309 registered against her after Porompat police station, Imphal East District arrested her following the launch of her fast-unto-death agitation over the demand to repeal AFSPA.