Sunday, January 23, 2005

Papers released under freedom of information legislation reveal that the British government secretly used an toxic nerve gas on Irish Republican Army (IRA) prisoners during prison riots in the 1970's. The use of 'CR' or Dibenzoxazepine, a skin irritant 10 times more powerful than other tear gases, was authorized for use in prisons in 1973. Former prisoner Jim McCann spoke about the experience of being gassed. I'll never forget it, there were grown men screaming for their mothers,' he said. 'We'd all had experience in CS gas, which was easy to avoid, but this was something different, you couldn't get away from it. I felt like I was on fire. They just decided to experiment on us like we were guinea pigs.' More than 50 of the prisoners who were at Long Kesh prison, and claim to have been sprayed with the chemical have died or have developed cancerous illnesses.