Iranian rights group posts plea for help against tear gas

Little-known organization asks Facebook users to "help us identify the gas," claims chemical induces "state of semi paralysis, violent sickness."

February 21, 2011 15:14
2 minute read.
Anti-government protest in Tehran, Iran.

Iran protests 311. (photo credit: Associated Press)


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A Facebook group by the Secular Democracy and Human Rights for Iran posted a new message on Sunday, "Iran: 'Urgent we need your help.'"

The message from the little-known organization continued to say that, "The Islamic regime in Iran is using a new 'tear gas' that renders those exposed into a state of semi paralysis and violent sickness. We want to reach out to chemical engineers the world over to help us identify the gas and how to defuse it?"

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The Facebook page then went on to list the symptoms associated with the tear gas: "Symptoms include: severe nausea and vomiting (in some cases blood), semi paralysis, blurry vision."

The group then asked Facebook users to "leave your comments or send emails" if you "know what to do?"

The group has over 8,000 Facebook fans and has so far received dozens of responses from Facebook users eager to help and offer advice.

"The most likely route of exposure to tear gas is by breathing it in. The first thing to do is to quickly leave the area where the tear gas was released and get to fresh air," offers one Facebook user.

The Jerusalem Post could not independently confirm the allegations of use of this special kind of tear gas.

On Sunday, Iran's opposition had called for rallies to mark a week since the deaths of two people in February 14 clashes between security forces and opposition protesters in Tehran. Hashemi's detention suggested crowds did attempt to gather Sunday, despite severe warnings from authorities.

One international rights group whose assessments have been right in the past said large numbers of protesters had turned out on major streets in the capital and four other cities. The New York-based International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran said security forces in Tehran dispersed the crowds with gunfire and tear gas. It said one person is believed to have been killed in the capital.

The report could not be independently confirmed, and Iran's police chief, Esmaeil Ahmadi Moghadam, denied there were any protests.

The rights group said witnesses reported crowds of protesters at key places in the capital: the main thoroughfare of Valiasr Street and in front of the state radio and TV building. It said it also had reports of demonstrations in the major cities of Mashad, Shiraz, Isfahan and Tabriz.

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