Bahrain defends use of teargas

2013-10-26 20:33
(Picture: AP)

(Picture: AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dubai - Bahrain has defended its use of teargas after rights groups criticised the Gulf kingdom's reported plans to buy 1.6 million canisters of the material.

Local and international rights groups have accused the authorities of using teargas excessively and of firing canisters directly at protesters or into cars and houses where they can cause serious injuries.

"Teargas is non-lethal and it is used appropriately by the police, in compliance with the law and in full adherence with the internationally accepted standards contained in the Bahrain police code of conduct," the government spokesperson's office said in an e-mail.

The tiny island state has been in political upheaval since February 2011, when mass protests led by the mostly Shi'ite Muslim opposition were crushed by the Sunni monarchy.

The government statement was made in response to a query about a leaked document published by Bahrain Watch, an advocacy group, which appeared to be a tender to supply the Interior Ministry with teargas canisters and stun grenades.


The US government has banned the export of teargas to Bahrain.

"Bahrain's police forces are using less force than is legally permitted," the statement said.

It did not specifically address the issue of the reported teargas tender, but did say that protesters' practices of setting fire to car tyres and throwing petrol bombs were more dangerous than the authorities' use of teargas.

It said more than 2 300 police personnel had been injured and nine killed since the protests began two and half years ago.

An international inquiry in November 2011 found that 35 people had died during Bahrain's uprising, most of whom were protesters but also including five security personnel. The opposition puts the death toll at more than 80.

The US-based Human Rights First (HRF) advocacy group earlier this month urged Washington to speak out against the planned teargas shipment.

According to Bahrain Watch, the leaked document came in the form of a tender issued by the Interior Ministry's Purchasing Directorate. It invited arms manufacturers to supply the ministry with "teargas cartridges and sound grenades".

In March 2012, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said the use of teargas had led to a number of deaths of protesters and bystanders in Bahrain.

Physicians for Human Rights (PHR), a US-based group that campaigns for medical staff working in crisis zones, said in August 2012 that the Bahraini government used teargas indiscriminately, causing severe injuries to some civilians.

Bahrain has denied that charge.
Read more on:    bahrain  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Man scores date with tennis superstar after Twitter bet

It’s a modern day Cinderella story, but one American man took ‘shoot your shot’ seriously in 2017.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.