© 2024 International Network of Civil Liberties Organizations & Physicians for Human Rights

Blindness, brain damage and burns: Violent crackdowns on protests leaves 120,000 seriously injured

Violence from governments and security forces become ‘increasingly common‘ and indicates an ‘alarming trend’ in policing, report warns.

This article was originally published in The Telegraph. Written by Harriet Barber, Global Health Security Reporter. March 22, 2023

More than 120,000 people have been seriously injured by tear gas and rubber bullets at protests around the world since 2015, according to a major investigation published today.

Violent crackdowns by governments and security forces have become “increasingly common” in recent years and indicates an “alarming trend” in policing, the report by the Physicians for Human Rights and the International Network of Civil Liberties warns.

“The rising popularity of crowd-control weapons by state actors highlights alarming trends in policing across the world: growing authoritarianism, the militarisation of law enforcement, unregulated and precipitous use of weapons against peaceful, unarmed people,” it says. 

“The result is thousands of people worldwide who have been seriously injured or killed by these weapons, and the chilling effect of this violence on millions more.”

In March 2023 alone, these weapons have reportedly been used against protestors in Bangladesh, Ethiopia, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Pakistan, Peru, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Türkiye, and the United States.

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