This is forensic science applied to the investigation of human rights violations

This is forensic science applied to the investigation of human rights violations

Currently there are social mobilizations in the world as a result of the population’s discontent with various government policies, facing the use of State force to contain them, which has led to human rights violations. Homicides, torture and forced disappearances are the most common and reported to control bodies, through social networks and the media.

This is confirmed by national and international forensic experts who are members of the Forensi-tech academic agenda, andVento of the Interdisciplinary Team of Forensic Work and Psychosocial Assistance (Equitas). Event that developed a work route for national authorities and Colombian forensic experts who seek to apply innovation, technology and forensic sciences to justice in a society in transition.

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“The new digital scenarios, the media and the technological developments of non-lethal weapons for the containment of these mobilizations, have generated ddiscussions around the scope that each of the factors have to document human rights violations and the need to reduce damage when force is used ”, explains Ana Carolina Guatame, Scientific Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Forensic Work and Psychosocial Assistance Team.

Estefan Schimitht, Project Leader for International Technical Services at the Florida National Center for Forensic Science and Technology and an expert in training international bodies on forensic complaints, was in charge of analyze the global context on the use of non-lethal weapons in the containment of social protest, based on elements used by law enforcement agencies such as:
Chemical irritants, kinetic impact projectiles, disorientation devices and other more modern and dangerous devices for the integrity of the protesters, such as the directed energy projector, the electromagnetic ray projector, stun grenades or some that exist but are not yet used as the Long Range Acoustic.

From the perspective of the expert who has worked with the United Nations in documenting crime scenes and for Human Rights organizations in settings such as Rwanda, former Yugoslavia, Russia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Algeria, Guatemala, Colombia, among others. , restrictions on the use of force are derive from principles based on international treaties that should not be overlooked, such as:

Convention against Torture (CAT 1984), International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) 1966, The United Nations Code of Conduct for the Treatment of Resources, 1977 and the 1993 Chemical Weapons Convention.

“These are resources used to formulate legal arguments against the use of the type of weapons classified as non-lethal in the containment of social protest and they should give way to the sensitization of those who use them with the objective that they understand the effect they cause on those who use them ”, explains the forensic expert.

During Stefan Schmitht’s Keynote Conference entitled, Use of non-lethal weapons in the containment of social protest, the expert cited an investigation from the British Medical Journal, qwho reviewed 26 scientific reports of information collected on incidents in the United States, India, Northern Ireland, Switzerland, Turkey and Nepal between 1990 and 2017.
The investigation concluded that:

“Out of a total of 1,884 people injured with these weapons, 53 died, recording a mortality rate of 3% for that group. About 300 victims were left with permanent disabilities (15.5%). Blindness, removal of the base or removal of parts of the intestine, are the most common consequences among victims of this type of weapon ”.

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