July 14, 2024

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Blisters in the eyes: 8-year-old tourist accidentally gassed by police in Paris

Blisters in the eyes: 8-year-old tourist accidentally gassed by police in Paris

The family of British tourists who were allegedly accidentally gassed by police officers on their way to their hotel room in Paris have questioned the safety of the country hosting the Olympics next month.

“It was scary and traumatic – we felt our eyes burning and it was hard to breathe, but my biggest worry was my little one. […] Even though the distance was very short we could not reach the apartment. My son screamed in pain with tears,” 46-year-old Radia Austin told The Independent on Wednesday.


The mother said the small British family, who visited Paris between May 25 and 28, visited the Eiffel Tower when they encountered a pro-Palestinian protest outside their hotel room.

Just then, a tear gas canister fired “indiscriminately” into the crowd would have landed at the feet of little 8-year-old Lawrence, even though the family was walking behind a barrier on the tourist side, not the main one. The road was closed to the demonstrators, and the British media continued.

“Before you know it, you can’t breathe and your eyes are burning,” the forty-year-old continued, then approached the police for help.

But they did not react to her cries for help, limiting themselves to telling her to “wash the eyes” of the suffering child, and she denounced her independence.

Severe pain from the tear gas reportedly kept him awake the next night, and two weeks later the boy continued to suffer from severe eye problems, with shooting pains in his eyes, according to his mother.

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“He still had some problems with his eyes when we got home. It could be hay fever, but the medication didn’t work, so we made an appointment with a specialist,” Radia Austin said.

But with the Paris Olympics, which begin on July 26, approaching, the family fears the Paris climate will not be safe enough to welcome the expected tourists.

For its part, the National Police did not respond to British media’s request for an interview.