Report-Bahrain: Imports Repressive Arms from Korea

12 January 2013

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) has monitored during the past year 2012 the intense use of tear-gas and stun grenades against protestors in Bahrain, and according to the documentation of the BYSHR and international organizations, the use of tear-gas led to the death of at least 20 people, where the security forces used it as a killing device:

1. Security forces deliberately throw tear-gas canisters inside or near houses.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t5JNiptMvlM&playnext=1&list=PL7591E873E817621F&feature=results_main

2. Security forces deliberately throw teargas canisters inside or near cars.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zBEcmA5nI7Y

3. Security forces deliberately throw teargas canisters inside cramped areas.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1MgJccgvAMM

Prohibiting repressive arms:

The BYSHR monitored statements of officials from “the U.S, U.K, Belgium and France” that they stopped selling arms that are used for suppressing protests in Bahrain since 2011 due the human rights violations and its misuse by the riot police.

Buying repressive arms:

Since the Bahraini Authorities started using various and new kinds of teargas and stun grenades; the source of those repressive arms could not be found due to the following reasons:

1. Lack of information on the teargas canisters or stun grenades (manufacturing country, expiry date, methods of use);

2. The Bahraini Authorities does not allow public opinion to access information that is considered military;
However, a group of activists and the BYSHR were able to obtain information related to the (manufacturing country, and the side effects) as well as the method of using stun grenades and teargas.

The (DAEKWANG) Korean Company is considered the lead supplier of teargas and stun grenades since approximately a year and a half ago “after the February 2011 protests”. The company exports its products to the most suppressive countries – according to the website – such as Syria and Saudi Arabia. ( Company website: www.teargas.kr)

Photo: A map of countries that buy from the company.

Types of imported arms:

The Bahraini Authorities imports from the (DAEKWANG) Korean Company three types:

1. TEAR GAS SHELLS DK-38M (See Photo)

2. TEAR GAS GRENADE DK-N500 (See photo)

3. RUBBER BALL SHELLS DK-38R (limited use – the BYSHR did not monitor its intense use, at least during the last 7 months) (See photo)

Promoting arms:

The (DAEKWANG) Korean Company did not only sell repressive arms to the Bahraini Authorities, but it also used some photos – photos illustrating suppressing protestors with teargas and stun grenades – to promote the arms that it manufactures. It published a photo of suppressing protestors in Bahrain along with the product (TEAR GAS SHELLS DK-38M).

Evidence:

These two photos were taken by people who cooperate with the BYSHR in the villages.

Recommendations:

1. Stop importing repressive arms to the Bahraini Authorities which excessively uses it against the protestors and as a killing device.
2. Initiate an independent investigation in the allegations of death due to the intense use of teargas.
3. Train security officers on the methods of dealing with peaceful protestors according to international standards and principles of human rights.

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