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Don’t use phosphorus for crowd control, US appeals to Myanmar

PTI Washington | Updated on March 12, 2018 Published on March 13, 2013

The US has appealed to Myanmar not to use phosphorus as a crowd controlling agent, as the chemical has an adverse impact on the health of human being.

The statement from the US State Department came amidst reports that in November last year, the Myanmar Government used smoke bombs containing phosphorus against a rally outside a copper mine in northern parts of the country.

Confirming that the Government of Myanmar used such a chemical to disperse protesters, the State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland expressed concern over its use.

“We have opposed the use of phosphorus as a crowd control agent (and) urged the government to ensure that its security forces exercise maximum restraint, respect due process under the law, and protect the right of freedom of assembly in accordance with international standards,” Nuland said.

“This phosphorus can be quite damaging to humans. There are other crowd control elements that are better suited,” she said.

Nuland noted that America’s improvement in its relationship with Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is a work in progress.

“As we said from the beginning, we will take steps to open our relationship as they take steps, but we are continuing, as part of that, to have a rigorous human rights dialogue with Burma, which includes issues like police conduct, freedom of assembly, these kinds of things,” she said.

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Published on March 13, 2013
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