Amnesty launches campaign to stop S Korea exporting tear gas to Turkey
Police fires tear gas against protesters during Gezi protests in Ankara, June 2, 2013. DAILY NEWS PhotoAmnesty International has launched a petition campaign via change.org to stop South Korea exporting some 1.9 million tear gas canisters to Turkey.
The “Do Not Send Gas to Us” campaign states that the canisters are currently set to be handed to Turkey in mid-January.
“Turkey has a bad record of security forces’ misuse of tear gas in demonstrations and fires gas bombs directly at protesters,” said the campaigners, addressing South Korean Ambassador to Ankara Yunsoo Cho.
“We witnessed during the Gezi Park protests in summer 2013 that security forces used tear gas, an excessive and arbitrary use of force, which occasionally resulted in death,” said Amnesty International Turkey Director Murat Çekiç in a statement.
“We, as the human rights defenders, call on the authorities in the Korean Republic, a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement, to stop exporting such weapons to Turkey. No responsible government should provide Turkey with such tools, which are used to suppress peaceful demonstrations, until the required conditions are fulfilled,” read the statement, which was also undersigned by several human rights groups.
The Wassenaar Arrangement was established in 1996 in Wassenaar, the Netherlands, in order to contribute to regional and international security and stability by promoting transparency and greater responsibility in the transfer of conventional arms and dual-use goods and technologies, thus preventing destabilizing accumulations.
A number young people were killed or heavily wounded due to direct canister shots by the police during the Gezi protests, including 15-year-old Berkin Elvan, who died in March last year after spending 269 days in a coma.