In efforts to reach more people and represent the transnational nature of the trade in less lethal weapons, Riot ID teamed up with volunteer translators to create versions of the pocket book in French, German, Spanish, Turkish and Arabic.
The transnational trade in riot control spans six continents, with leading manufacturers exporting their goods around the world.
Rio-based Condor Nonlethal Technologies (“Condor”) has taken full advantage of the business opportunities provided by Brazil hosting both the 2014 World cup and 2016 Olympic Summer Games. Condor is one of the world’s leading suppliers of policing equipment and the largest company of its kind in Latin America. Recently a company spokesperson aid the manufacturer has been working night and day to fulfil product demands. Since 1985 Condor has developed over one hundred distinct products for the military, UN peacekeeping forces, special operations forces and mainstream law enforcement. Today Condor produces a wide range of these policing and crowd control munitions. Types of tear gas projectiles include triple and multiple charges, canisters that split into pieces to allow for greater coverage and are designed to be more difficult to “throw back” (where a civilian picks up and throws a projectile back toward police lines, or away from a crowd).
Rheinmetall Denel, a venture between Germany and South Africa, supplies less lethal weapons around the world. According to a December 2014 report in the Wall Street Journal, German defence manufacturer Rheinmetall benefits from its partnership with South African Denel because this alliance allows for munitions to be manufactured from South Africa, rather than in Germany, where patent and export controls are tighter. Operating from South Africa, Denel is known for its participation in the apartheid regime, providing a main source of armaments. With aim to further expand its international reach, in June 2015, Reuters reported the company was looking to set up manufacture in the Philippines.
In France, less lethal weapons are often deployed against non-violent protesters by French police forces. In 2014, 21-year-old Rémi Fraisse was killed by an SAE Alsetex by a stun grenade explosion after police fired these munitions on unarmed civilians during protests against airport expansion. Other young people that are part of the ZAD movement have lost eyes, suffered concussions and been marred by serious injury caused by the excessive and unsafe use of France’s less lethal weapons. Protests swept France following Rémi’s death. Many of these demonstrations against police use of excessive force were met with an abundance of riot control weapons.
In August 2015 our RiotID team identified Alsetex’s Cougar munitions launchers being used out on the streets in Lebanon during the recent ‘You Stink’ garbage protests against government failure and corruption. Cougar launchers. The amount of excessive force used by police against peaceful civilians during these protests came under condemnation by human rights groups, leading Prime Minister Tammam Salam to announce that security forces would face “accountability and follow-up.”
Operating from South Korea, Korea C.N.O. Tech is one of several South Korean companies that sells less lethal weapons including tear gas and foam rounds. Tear gas canisters with the C.N.O. Tech logo on were photographed in Turkey in 2013 and black tear gas canisters thought to be South Korean have been photographed in Bahrain.
Linking the technologies being used against civilians to the manufacturers that supply them helps people hold corporations accountable. It can support efforts to intervene in human rights abuses, monitor illegal exports, enforce protocols and curb deadly practices. By treating less lethals as both repressive and potentially deadly weapons, the Riot ID project makes visible those companies who profiteer off the violent control of protest.
If you or your organization would like to be involved in translating RiotiD into another language, please be in touch. You can download the English and translated versions of #RiotID from our website at http://riotid.com/print-your-own-riotid/