France withdraws maiming police tear gas grenades

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French interior minister Christophe Castaner has announced that police are to no longer use an highly explosive tear gas grenade until now used in crowd-control situations, notably during the past 12 months of rolling 'yellow vest' demonstrations over social grievances, and which has been one of the arsenal of police weapons that have left many people with serious injuries and amputations.

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French riot police are to stop using an explosive tear gas grenade that has maimed protesters, reports The Times.

Christophe Castaner, the interior minister, said that the GLI-F4 grenades, which carry 26g of TNT, would be withdrawn because demonstrators who picked them up had been injured when they went off in their hands.

The grenade, which releases a cloud of tear gas with a powerful blast, is part of a crowd-control arsenal opposed by rights groups and some international bodies. Another police grenade, the OF-F1, was banned in 2017 after the death of an activist in a protest over a dam. Défenseur des droits, a rights group, says that France is the only European country to use explosive munitions against protesters.

The police use of more than 13,000 rubber bullets against protesters in three months last winter caused the United Nations’ human-rights commission to deplore “serious allegations of excessive use of force” and “disproportionate use” of so-called ‘non- lethal’ weapons by French police.

Read more of this report from The Times (subscription required).

 

 

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