Bahrain Getting Its Tear Gas From...

...Britain, and some politicians aren't happy about that
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 18, 2011 10:21 AM CST
Bahrain Getting Its Tear Gas From...
Relatives of Ali Massour Khodier, 62, who died during clashes between Bahraini anti- government protesters and riot police, hold his picture during his funeral procession in Sitra village, Bahrain.   (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar)

Some politicians in the UK aren't happy about the "Made in Britain" labels on the tear gas, smoke canisters, and stun grenades being used to crush protests in Bahrain and elsewhere in the Arab world, the Independent reports. The British government approved the export of large amounts of crowd-control weapons to Bahrain and Libya last year, and critics say Britain is providing authoritarian regimes with the "tools of oppression."

The government has promised a review of exports to Bahrain but critics say the supply of weapons should be cut off immediately. "We should be suspending all arms exports used to repress pro-democracy protests. The idea that British weapons could be used to fire on and injure children makes me feel ill," former Labour minister Denis MacShane said. "With the protests spreading across the Middle East, I am very concerned that once Britain is going to be caught on the wrong side of history again, defending the indefensible." (More arms sales stories.)

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