Activists and human rights watchdogs, however, say the gas is used indiscriminately and lethally against demonstrators.
Pressure to prevent deliveries has been growing since the publication of a leaked document showing that Bahrain is seeking to purchase more teargas canisters than its entire population, of 1.2m.
Samira Rajab, a government spokesperson, was quoted as saying that police would have been justified in using live fire,…
Human Rights Watch (HRW) has said the Bahraini security forces have “repeatedly used teargas disproportionately and sometimes unlawfully in suppressing anti-government demonstrations” since 2011, when protests against the western-banked Sunni monarchy erupted as part of the wave of Arab spring uprisings.
Teargas misuse has been implicated in more than a dozen deaths and serious injuries, HRW says.
Police also fire the canisters directly at people’s heads, which has caused serious injuries and deaths.
Overall, 39 deaths in Bahrain have been attributed to teargas, according to Physicians for Human Rights.
The US and Britain have urged Bahrain to implement political reforms and address the grievances of the country’s Shia majority, which has long faced discrimination.