THE tear-gassing of Vietnamese children at Whitehead detention centre this weekend has been condemned by lawyers, who say it breached United Nations conventions. Lawyers representing Refugee Concern Hong Kong presented a letter to the Governor yesterday, calling on him to begin an immediate inquiry into 'the legality of the use of force by the Hong Kong Royal Police and Correctional Services officers against children in detention centres'. They suggested the tear-gassing of the camp, and the children held inside, constituted a crime under the Crime (Torture) Ordinance and that it was a breach of Article 37 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Spokesman Michael Darwyne said: 'We call for an immediate halt to the use of toxic gas against children. Two-thirds of the camp is made up of women and children who have nowhere to run or hide. 'This constitutes a gross abuse of human rights. It is totally indefensible to use substances as toxic as tear-gas against small children. This whole situation is crazy and if the Government had just sat down and talked through trusted mediators this could have been avoided.' Nearly 200 people were injured during the dawn raid on Saturday when officers used tear-gas to quell the Whitehead camp protesters. Following the disturbances, 168 riot officers and 27 Vietnamese, including an infant girl, were taken to hospital. The one-year-old girl, named Vu, was said to be in a satisfactory condition at Prince of Wales Hospital, where she was being treated for burns suffered during the raid. The Correctional Services Department would not comment on the accusations.