The Bahraini regime has defended the use of tear gas against anti-regime protesters despite criticism by human rights organizations.
“Tear gas 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,” a government spokesman’s office said in a statement quoted by Reuters on Saturday.
“Bahrain’s police forces are using less force than is legally permitted,” the statement added.
On October 16, the Bahrain Watch group leaked documents showing that the Al Khalifa regime was planning to buy 1.6 million canisters of the material along with some stun grenades.
Many activists and rights groups have censured the excessive use of tear gas by the Saudi-backed forces, which fire canisters directly at protesters or within confined spaces such as houses and cars.
“CS gas as misused in Bahrain is most certainly lethal. And it is lethal because of the intensity of its use [and] the concentration within a confined room, and it is not supposed to be used in a confined space, “said Irish Orthopedic Surgeon Professor Damian McCormack , who is also a member of a Bahraini NGO, at a press conference in Switzerland in June.
In March 2012, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said a number of Bahraini protesters and bystanders died due to the use of tear gas in the tiny Persian Gulf island.
In August 2012, Physicians for Human Rights said that the regime uses tear gas indiscriminately, which has caused severe injuries to some civilians.
Meanwhile, on Saturday, anti-regime protests were held in several regions including the northwestern village of Bani Jamra and the western village of Karzakan with the protesters calling for the downfall of regime.
In Bani Jamra, people took to streets to protest against killing of a teenager by Bahrain’s forces.
Since mid-February 2011, thousands of pro-democracy protesters have held numerous demonstrations in the streets of Bahrain, calling for the Al Khalifa royal family to relinquish power.
On March 14, 2011, troops from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini regime in its crackdown on peaceful protesters.
According to local sources, scores of people have been killed and hundreds arrested.
Physicians for Human Rights says doctors and nurses have been detained, tortured, or disappeared because they have “evidence of atrocities committed by the authorities, security forces, and riot police” in the crackdown on anti-government protesters.