Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bahrain teargas stockpile plan faces international opposition: Government insists weapon is legal after activists condemn tender for vast quantities of gas and grenades

    Wednesday, October 30, 2013   No comments

Bahrain's government is striking back at an international campaign to prevent it from buying huge amounts of teargas to repress protests in the Gulf island state.

Officials and pro-government media in Manama insist that the use of teargas is within international legal norms.

Activists and human rights watchdogs, however, say the gas is used indiscriminately and lethally against demonstrators.

Pressure to prevent deliveries has been growing since the publication of a leaked document showing that Bahrain is seeking to purchase more teargas canisters than its entire population, of 1.2m.

The interior ministry document, dated 16 June, invited tenders from companies to supply police with 1.6m teargas canisters, 145,000 sound and flash grenades, 45,000 CS hand grenades and 45,000 teargas hand grenades.

Manufacturers in South Korea, from where DaeKwang Chemical exported around 1m units of teargas to Bahrain between 2011 and 2012, are under pressure to explain their position. The government in Seoul, facing protests and petitions by campaigners, has not said whether it will grant an export licence.



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