During the past week, the images of peaceful protesters in the United States being shot with projectiles, sprayed with pepper spray, or teargassed by police in riot gear reminded us of the many peaceful protesters in other countries who have been severely injured from excessive use of force by the state. As physician-researchers for Physicians for Human Rights, we have investigated the health effects of the use of so-called nonlethal crowd-control weapons by security officials against demonstrators in Bahrain, India, Palestine, South Korea, Sudan, Turkey, and Hong Kong.1 We have examined people who were blinded by rubber bullets, who experienced traumatic brain injury from teargas canisters shot at close range, and who have had prolonged respiratory difficulties from teargas exposure. The settings vary, but the weapons are similar.
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