News / Middle East

Bahrain Rights Report Finds Government Used Excessive Force

Anti-government protesters run away from tear-gas fired by riot police during a demonstration in Manama (file photo).
Anti-government protesters run away from tear-gas fired by riot police during a demonstration in Manama (file photo).

The head of a special commission investigating Bahrain's unrest says the government used "excessive force" and tortured detainees during its bloody crackdown on protesters earlier this year.

Commission chief Cherif Bassiouni also announced Wednesday that the investigation did not find evidence linking Iran to the uprising.  Bahrain's rulers have blamed Iranian interference for stirring up the unrest.

The much-anticipated report about the treatment of demonstrators in Shi'ite-led protests calling for democratic reform found that at least 35 people were killed during the unrest, including some security force members.  The report was authorized by Bahrain's Sunni monarchy and was based on interviews with more than 5,000 people.

Lack of evidence of abuse

Despite saying the government used excessive force in the crackdown, the report concluded there was no evidence that Gulf-area troops committed human rights abuses in the small country.  Bahrain's Sunni Muslim authorities called in Saudi-led troops in March to help crush the protests.

Bahrain's King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa said the government is "grateful" for the report's identification of the ways in which authorities must improve.  He praised the report as a "catalyst for positive change" and vowed to hold officials involved in the abuses accountable for their actions.

New clashes

Bahraini security forces clashed with protesters in at least two Shi'ite towns hours before the release of the independent report.

Wednesday's street battles first broke out in Aali, outside the capital Manama, after a man died when his car smashed into a house when police allegedly forced him off the road.  

It is not clear whether the dead motorist had been involved in protests, which take place frequently in Shi'ite areas of Bahrain and often are met with force.

Rights groups say more than 3,000 people were detained in the March crackdown, and as many as half of those faced abuses such as electric shocks and beatings in detention.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

Join the conversation on our social journalism site - Middle East Voices. Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid