Concerns raised over shipments of tear gas used against Egyptian protesters…
Months after former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down, and just days after many people were reported to have suffocated and died allegedly because of new types of tear gas used by the Egyptian police, a new tear gas shipment arrived at the Suez Port from the United States (US) a few days ago.
The story broke when it was reported [ar] in Al Ahram Arabic daily that the employees of the custom service in Suez refused to receive a shipment with containers of seven tons of tear gas in each, creating an uproar on social networking sites. Here is part of the conversation from Twitter:
@Psypherize: A new tear gas shipment 7 tonnes heavy just arrived in #Cairo from #Suez and stored by the #MOI. Get ready for another crackdown.
@RashaAbdulla: So apparently, the 7-ton tear gas shipment from the #US to #Egypt is only part 1 of 3. Total is 21 tons!!
@sharifkouddous: Suez rocks. Port workers in Suez refuse 7-ton shipment of tear gas from US to restock Interior Ministry supply
Later on, people knew that the workers will be subject to investigations for their refusal to receive the shipment:
@3alaelhawa: The employees of Suez customs will be subject to investigations for refusing to receive the tear gas shipment.
Netizens were also worried about the government’s intentions:
@elkammar: I pay my government to get a better tear gas, a better way to kill me and my brothers
The tear gas bombs in this shipment are manufactured in the United States, hence people are wondering how the US claims to support the Arab world revolutions yet continues to support tyrannies across the region.
@freddydeknatel: But what does that say then, when you’ve got tear gas shipments arriving in the Port of Suez with “Made in the USA” on the side of them?
@waleedrashed: To U.S. and European governments:instead of asking how can we promote democracy in the Egypt, just stop exporting the gas used against today
Finally, it was reported that the shipment was released and headed to the Ministry of Interior:
@sayedfathy2006: From Suez: The port management decided not to investigate with the employees … and the 3 containers have already been handed to the Ministry of Interior now.
by Tarek Amr
This is an edited version of a report that originally appeared at Global Voices Online