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Updated on: Saturday, November 23, 2019, 10:18 PM IST

Hong Kong families oppose tear gas use

A pro-democracy protester handles a tear gas canister fired by police in Hong Kong's Wanchai district. | Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP

A pro-democracy protester handles a tear gas canister fired by police in Hong Kong's Wanchai district. | Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP

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Hong Kong: Chanting "No more tear gas," dozens of Hong Kong families with young children marched Saturday to oppose the government's handling of pro-democracy protests on the eve of keenly contested local elections.

Riot police have reportedly fired more than 9,000 rounds of tear gas since protests began roiling the Chinese territory in June, often in crowded areas and also near schools.

With police now buying canisters from China, there are rising fears that the tear gas could release toxic chemicals including cancer-causing dioxin.

A local journalist covering the protests reportedly said he had been diagnosed with a skin condition linked to exposure to toxins including dioxin. The government this week said there was no evidence of any health or environment risks and has refused to reveal the chemicals in the tear gas, citing operational concerns.

"Does the government have something to hide? With police firing tear gas wantonly, how do we protect ourselves ?" Emily Ku, 33, said as she marched with her 5-year-old daughter.

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Published on: Saturday, November 23, 2019, 10:18 PM IST
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