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Bahrain: Weaponized Tear Gas in Bahrain Leaves Young Man in Vegetative State

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The Bahrain Center for Human Rights expresses grave concern in regards to authorities in Bahrain use of excessive force against peaceful protesters. Abbas Abdulnabi Marhoon, 19 years old, is currently in a vegetative state due to being shot in the head with a tear gas canister[1] on Tuesday 15th October 2013 in Karzakkan.

Marhoon’s family reported that they started looking for their son after his delay in coming back home, when they found him lying on a road in Karzakkan village bleeding from his head. Witnesses reported that Marhoon was shot with a tear gas canister directly in the head and was taken to the hospital unconscious. According to the Ministry of Interior's twitter feed[2], Northern Police Directorate received a report from Hamad Kanoo health center that an injured person was brought to the center from Karzakkan village.

Due to the seriousness of his injuries, Marhoon was transferred to the operation room at the Bahrain Defense Force Hospital.  He was shot in his right temple which caused him to suffer from brain edema which required that doctors perform a craniotomy to relieve the intracranial pressure. According to his family, Marhoon is now put under monitoring and a procedure was done for feeding him through the stomach. The family stated that his condition is not stable[3]. “Every day I pray for a divine miracle to bring my son back” said his mother commenting on his case.

It is important to note that a document was leaked recently about a deal[4] between the government of Bahrain and South Korean companies to import 1.6 million tear gas canisters and 90,000 tear gas grenades. Bahrain Watch launched a campaign to stop this shipment and demanded to halt the selling of tear gas to Bahrain. Since the beginning of Bahrain's uprising, approximately 39 civilians[5] were killed by tear gas, several of them due to injuries caused from being shot with tear gas canisters from close range, among them children.

The Bahrain Center for Human rights believes that importing a massive amount of tear gas canisters and grenades to be used against peaceful protests will lead to more deaths and severe injuries.

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the United Nations and all of Bahrain’s closest allies as well as international institutions to pressure the Government of Bahrain to:

  • Launch an immediate independent and impartial investigation into Marhoon's incident and hold those responsible accountable
  • Stop the shipment of tear gas canisters for Korea and any future deals with any other countries
  • Immediately put an end to the use of excessive force against protesters

 


[1] http://manamavoice.com/news-news_read-15750-0.html

[2] https://twitter.com/moi_bahrain/status/390225620182913024

[3] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plBe4C4CKg4

[4] http://www.bahrainrights.org/en/node/6454

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