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).
TEXT SIZE - +

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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid