Dr Anna Feigenbaum on use of tear gas in Turkey protests
14 June 2013
Dr Anna Feigenbaum, Lecturer in Media and Politics at BU, has commented in several international publications on the use of tear gas during protests in Turkey.
Anna, whose research looks into communication and social justice, has spoken about the history, legality and effects of tear gas in the wake of its use on protestors by the Turkish police force.
"Tear gas was invented, in part, to shut people up," she said, in a video interview with Russia Today.
"This is where communication meets politics. We're talking about a technology, a weapon that actually inhibits people from being able to speak - that enters into the throat, that enters into the lungs, that forces people to disperse.
"So it is actually a weapon that is the complete opposite of what freedom of speech and freedom of assembly actually look like."
She also wrote an opinion piece for the Comment is Free section on The Guardian website, where she talks about the history of teargas and its use - including the fact that sales have increased dramatically with the wave of uprisings in countries across the world.
She concludes: "More pressure must be put on governments to fund independent inquiries into the death rates and serious injuries from teargas abuses as well as the long-term health effects from exposure - both issues even the experts know little about.
"All import and export sales of teargas should also be made publicly available. It is time we held our governments accountable for their mass poisoning of people at home and abroad."
Anna also contributed an opinion piece to website Salon.com, stating that tear gas has been used in over 40 countries since January 2013.
She says: "The vast majority of these uses were against nonviolent protesters. Yet as gas is used to suppress dissent around the world, questions about its design, deployment, health effects and legality remain largely unaddressed."
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