Stone throwers face different fates around the globe


JERUSALEM: US President Donald Trump’s recent assertion that US troops should respond to rock-throwing migrants — a hypothetical scenario — as if they were armed has sparked a debate about the appropriate use of force.

Nigerian troops swiftly used Trump’s comments about the migrants as justification for a deadly crackdown on demonstrators over the weekend.

From the Gaza Strip to Africa and Europe, security forces have faced stone throwers in very different ways, from firing live rounds to limiting themselves to non-lethal means.
A 1990 UN document calls on law enforcement officials to show maximum restraint and to use firearms only in cases in which an “imminent threat of death or serious injury” is identified. These standards have been interpreted differently around the world.

Here is a look at how countries around the world respond to stone throwers:

Israeli forces have been confronting Palestinian stone throwers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip for decades. Israeli tactics have evolved over the years, particularly with the increased use of what are presented as non-lethal crowd-dispersal tools such as tear gas and rubber bullets.

Israeli officials say that live fire is used only as a last resort, when soldiers’ lives are threatened. But critics accuse Israel of unnecessarily, and perhaps illegally, using deadly force.

In Indian-administered Kashmir, a disputed territory divided between India and Pakistan, protesters have long viewed stone throwing as legitimate protest against Indian rule.
India has often responded with tough measures, including live fire and metal pellets that have killed, maimed or blinded hundreds of people over the last decade.

In Greece, firebombs and stone-throwing are routine occurrences at anarchist demonstrations held on most weekends. Police typically respond with tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowds.
In 2008, a policeman fired his gun at a group of youths in central Athens, killing a 15-year-old protester.

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