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HK democracy activist urges US firm to stop selling tear gas to Thai police

Nov 21. 2020
Joshua Wong
Joshua Wong
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By The Nation

Hong Kong youth activist Joshua Wong has sent an email on Friday to NonLethal Technologies, a tear gas manufacturer in the US, calling for suspension of the sale of tear gas canisters to Thailand.

In the email, posted on his Facebook page, he wrote on behalf of Thais and Hongkongers, urging the company to halt the sales of tear gas canisters that were indiscriminately used to target elementary school students.

"Over the past few months since July, hundreds of thousands of Thailand protesters have been fighting for three demands, including constitutional reforms, through peaceful assembly and demonstrations. However, the military-backed government used police force and pro-monarchy mobsters to attack and quell dissent," he said.

He cited the “Ratsadon” group's demonstration outside Parliament on November 17 when riot police fired water cannons and tear gas at rally participants.

"According to Bangkok's Erawan Medical Centre, at least 55 people were hurt, while around 32 of them were suffering from tear gas after-effects. Six people were reportedly shot with live rounds, according to medical staff," he said, adding that even underaged primary school students were subject to the indiscriminate use of tear gas.

He also cited that multiple human rights groups in Thailand have condemned police brutality.

"Found at the scene, tear gas canisters show that your company is one of the suppliers of tear gas canisters to the riot police in Thailand. Therefore, Thai protesters and I urge your company to suspend the sale of tear gas canisters and other riot weapons to the Thai police force. We also call on the company to make public all the relevant user instructions concerning riot weapons that the Thai police use," he concluded.

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