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The Deployment of Law Enforcement Equipment in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

Publisher: SIPRI and OSF
SIPRI and OSF, Stockholm:
July, 2015

In recent years, Central Asia and the South Caucasus have seen a number of gradual trends in the development, transfer and use of law enforcement equipment, increasing the range of devices available to law enforcement and security personnel. This has been partly spearheaded by changing international partners (China, Russia and the United States), but it has also been influenced by the emergence of local sources of production, the opportunities generated by the acceptance that police and security personnel require the means for employing a graduated use of forcethus creating a market for new technologiesas well as the desire for reform.

However, the increased availability and deployment of law enforcement equipment brings with it an inherent risk that without the proper infrastructure in place, such as controls over the trade in such devices, clear use of force guidelines and training, backed up by a robust monitoring and a judicial system capable and willing to hold perpetrators to account, police and security forces could use new technologies to wield excessive force, commit abuses and reinforce authoritarian practices.


Joe Farha is a Research Associate at the Omega Research Foundation.
Kate Wraith is a Research Associate at the Omega Research Foundation.