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Orde challenged on CS Gas defence

24 August, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Human Rights Caitriona Ruane has said that it was ironic that the PSNI Chief Constable Hugh Orde chose to attack on her in today's Irish News for challenging the PSNI use of CS gas on the same day that the London Medical Toxicology Unit published similar fears regarding the use of CS gas in the Emergency Medical Journal.

Ms Ruane said:

" In this mornings Irish News Hugh Orde chose to attack Sinn Féin criticisms of the increasing use of CS gas by the PSNI in recent months. What he failed to do of course was respond to the valid criticisms which have been levelled at his force for this practice, not just by Sinn Féin, but other bodies interested in Human Rights.

" It is ironic that Hugh Orde chose to attack Sinn Féin for raising these genuine concerns about the continuing use of repressive measures like CS gas on the very day that similar concerns about its use by police forces in England was published in the Emergency Medical Journal by the London Medical Toxicology Unit.

" CS gas is a repressive policing option. Nationalists and republicans can remember only too well the role it played in RUC efforts to drive the Civil Rights Movement off the streets. Hugh Orde should not underestimate the negative impact of the use of CS spray on a community which has already suffered from repressive policing for decades." ENDS

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