Rheinmetall: Production of non-lethal weapons

Rheinmetall offers a comprehensive range of ammunition including non-lethal crowd or riot control applications1.

Activists in Bahrain have been posting pictures of 40mm tear gas canister manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)2. Bahraini and Saudi police and security forces have been systematically using tear gas ‘unlawfully and disproportionately’ against protestors on an unprecedented scale3. Physicians for Human Rights documented tens of cases of maiming, blinding, and even killing of civilian protesters in Bahrain as a result of tear gas attacks4.

South African MPs are currently looking into whether Rheinmetall Denel Munitions may have illegally exported riot control products, including tear gas and flash-bangs, to certain countries in the Middle East5.


  1. NIOA (2014): Rheinmetall 40mm ammunition; NIOA (2014): Rheinmetall hand thrown grenades (accessed 02.10.2014)  []
  2. Bahrain Watch (2014): Bahrains police use South African tear gas from German controlled company; 29 January (accessed 02.10.2014)  []
  3. Fahim, K. (2013): Rights Group warns against tear gas abuse by Bahrain; New York Times, 22 October (accessed 10.09.2014) []
  4. Corporate Watch (2013): Lethal non lethal weapon; 3 July (accessed 02.10.2014) []
  5. Hartley, W. (2014): Exports drive Denel’s turnaround; 6 February, Business day live:  (accessed 01.10.2014) []
Case location
Bahrain
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Affected topics
  • Human and Labour Rights
Affected norms and standards Directly and indirectly (through shareholding) involved companies Indirect investors through shareholding

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