AFTE demands that officials provide accurate information regarding gas used against protesters

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Protester runs with a tear gas canister, which was earlier fired by riot police, during a protest in Cairo

AFTE  demands that official bodies, specifically the ministries of health and interior and the supreme council of military forces provide clear and accurate information concerning the tear gas recently used in dispersing the Tahrir sit in and in the Mohamed Mahmud confrontation between protesters and central security forces.

Since the beginning of the second wave of the revolution a week ago and upon the violent dispersion by police and army forces of the sit in by citizens injured during earlier phases of the revolution, it became clear to protesters in Tahrir and the whole area of down town Cairo that the gas used by security forces was different from the one used during the first phase of the revolution, specifically on the 28th of January or in any of the later strikes and sit ins. The gas had different effects even on citizens not present in the confrontation. It was more intense. It reached a wider circle. Citizens living relatively far away from the confrontations were affected by it as well. Cases were documented of people who died of suffocation in their homes. Others suffered convulsions as a result of exposure to the gas.

AFTE poses several questions concerning the issue:

1-    What is the nature of the gas used during previous days? Did it involve nerve gas, listed under chemical weaponry prohibited internationally even during war?

2-    Are those weapons produced in Egypt, or imported?

3-    If imported, from which countries?

4-    How many of those gas canisters were used against protesters? How much did it cost the ministry of interior during the previous week to purchase this huge amount of canisters that clouded Cairo even after the end of the confrontations? How did this affect the economy which is constantly used as an argument against the protests?

5-    What is the health impact of exposure to this gas, whether in small or large amounts? How can those health hazards be dealt with?

AFTE condemns this silence by all sovereign bodies responsible for the clashes. AFTE reiterates the right of citizens to be informed regarding the nature of the poison they have been exposed to for five continuous days, so that they are able to deal with the complications they might suffer.

The government represented by the ministry of interior and health in addition to SCAF are solely responsible for this tragedy. Citizens are entitled to information to be able to protect their lives.

AFTE demands a prompt answer to those questions by state officials, as well as transparency and credibility of information. Access to such information is an essential right, especially when people’s lives depend on it.

محتوى المدونة منشور برخصة المشاع الإبداعي نَسب المُصنَّف 4.0