An independent commission in Bahrain has issued a report on the massive crackdown on pro-democracy protesters earlier this year, faulting the government for brutality against the dissidents as well as the broad use of torture against detainees.
“A number of detainees were tortured,” confirmed the commission’s head, M. Cherif Bassiouni. The report detailed the use of electric shocks and beatings against arrested protesters, and that at least 700 of the detainees are still in custody.
The commission said it received at least 559 different complaints about the mistreatment of detainees in custody, adding that the vast majority of those complaints came from the nation’s Shi’ite majority, which was at the center of demanding more representation in the government, ruled by a Sunni royal family.
Bahrain’s King Hamad al-Khalifa expressed “dismay” at the findings of the report and promised reforms that would prevent such abuses in the future. He did not indicate what form the reforms would actually take.
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