Creating new perspectives since 2009

Europe tests sound cannon to deter refugees, as used during Egypt’s Rabaa massacre

June 3, 2021 at 12:18 pm

Police take security measures as people gather to stage a protest to show solidarity with asylum seekers and refugees at Heldenplatz square in Vienna, Austria on 3 October 2020. Aşkın [Kıyağan – Anadolu Agency]

Europe is testing a “sound cannon” – which gives off a high-pitched noise as loud as a jet engine – to deter people arriving and seeking refuge, according to a video made by DW News which captures the truck and the sound.

Between 2021 and 2027 the EU plans to invest almost €35 million ($42.7 million) in border control, according to the report.

Besides the sound cannon they will buy cameras and drones and an Interrogation AI.

The sound cannon was used by Egyptian police and military forces during the 2013 Rabaa massacre, Egyptian journalist Abdelrahman Ayyash said on Twitter.

“Shocking, I opened the video before reading your tweet, the first thing that came to my mind is Rabaa massacre’s background sound. I wonder, when can we get rid of this trauma?” commented another user.

Another said he had flashbacks of the massacre after playing the video.

READ: 64 rights groups call on Egypt to end crackdown on peaceful dissent

Guardian analysis released in May revealed that EU member states have used brutal tactics to push back at least 40,000 asylum seekers from Europe’s borders during the pandemic.

Italy, Malta, Greece, Croatia and Spain have enlisted private vessels to intercept boats at sea and push back passengers.

People have been beaten, robbed and stripped naked at borders and at sea and the Croatian police have whipped, robbed, sexually abused and stripped naked migrants, according to the report.

The number of people crossing the Channel from northern France to England in search of safety hit a record high in May.

The UK has suggested several controversial tactics to push refugees back, including building a floating wall in the Channel, using a wave machine to deter migrants and housing them on disused ferries moored off the coast.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has suggested using an asylum processing centre on Ascension Island, UK territory in the South Atlantic, to process asylum seekers which has been described as “inhumane” by rights advocates.