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Bahraini protester dies from poisonous gas inhalation

20 February 2015 13:42

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A Bahraini protester has died after spending a month in coma because of the inhalation of poisonous gas used by security forces in an anti-government demonstration.

Sayyed Mohammed Kadhem was announced dead Friday after a month in hospital, a Bahraini doctor announced on his twitter page.

Kadhem slipped into a coma after he was poisoned by tear gas in a demonstration early January in the capital city of Manama.

The death of Kadhem brings the total number of people killed by government forces over four years of peaceful protests in the Arab country to at least 90.

Bahraini government’s use of tear gas has been described by many activists as excessive, with many people falling victim to the deadly canisters used by regime security forces to quell demonstrations.

Activists and human rights groups say the government’s use of tear gas is mostly indiscriminate and lethal with police forces in some cases encircling protesters and making them inhale the poisonous gas.

Brazil, Germany, France and South Africa have been the main suppliers of tear gas canisters to Manama. The government has also put out tenders for buying vast quantities of tear gas.

An international campaign was launched in 2013 to pressure countries that were becoming engaged in a deal with Bahrain to supply the country with millions of tear gas canisters.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) has also blasted Manama for the deadly use of the canisters, saying the regime has “repeatedly used tear gas disproportionately and sometimes unlawfully in suppressing anti-government demonstrations.”

Protests began in Bahrain in 2011 against the Western-backed family of Al Khalifa, who have ruled the tiny Persian Gulf Kingdom under a monarchy system for decades.

The regime’s crackdown on peaceful protests has been intensified over the past months since the arrest of the top opposition leader Sheikh Ali Salman last December.

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