OPCW director praises Yemen's rapid response to nerve gas claims

Ahmet Üzümcü, the director general of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, has praised the rapid action of Yemen to refute claims that it used toxic tear gas to break up a riot.

Assertions had been made that the toxic gas had been used to break up a riot in the front yard of Sana’a University in Yemen’s capital city over the last few days, Saba News reports. Üzümcü said that Yemen has made efforts to ensure it meets its obligations in agreement with the Chemical Weapons Convention.

The statements came during a meeting in The Hague with Üzümcü and Yemen’s ambassador to the Netherland, Najib Obaid, in attendance. Obaid confirmed that the country’s security services used smoke bombs that were of the type the CWC allowed internationally for riot control. This contrasts allegations by some of the media that poisonous gas had been used against the protesters.

Obaid briefed Üzümcü on a report created by a Ministry of Public Health and Population committee to check on the injured protesters and to ensure that the gas was non-toxic, Saba News reports. The Yemeni government has formally requested that the World Health Organization send experts from the organization to examine the cases to further care for the victims of the gas.