RISE have reacted with concern in response to the deputy leader of the SNP Stewart Hosie’s statement that he would endorse a “shoot to kill” policy. (1)
In the days following the horrific attacks of Paris some politicians have tried to outdo each other in their support of armed police using lethal force.
A progressive vision of Scotland would not include the sanctioning and normalising of 'shoot to kill' by the State.
Dr Nick McKerrell, a lecturer in Human Rights Law at Glasgow Caledonian University said:
“RISE are quite right to question the political reaction to Paris and in particular the promotion of a“shoot to kill policy” of the state. Politicians seem to be running away with outlandish scenarios in which the police or armed forces should be allowed to take lives."
“The European Convention of Human Rights (part of our legal system) is clear – in life threatening situations the use of force can be no more than is absolutely necessary. Further, the common law of Scotland states that self defence is only a defence where there is “imminent danger to life and limb” and where the force used is proportionate to the threat."
“Going beyond these limits causes all sorts of horrific problems as the experience of US policing (where all police are armed) and the amount of young African Americans killed shows. Closer to home we have had the infamous case of Jean de Menezes in the London underground."
“Heightened political rhetoric cannot be allowed to challenge the legal and societal restrictions on the use of lethal force by the state. This would inflame an already precarious situation where liberties are at risk.”
A RISE spokesperson said:
"RISE are committed to providing a left pro-independence voice in the upcoming Scottish Parliament. We are asking the SNP to clarify their position on shoot to kill. Now is a time to defend our civil liberties - and we are determined to do so."