Bahrain fund to pay compensation to protest victims

More than 30 people have died in the Gulf state since unrest flared in Feb
Bahrain fund to pay compensation to protest victims
Bahrain saw weeks of protests in February and March as anti-government protesters took to the streets
By Claire Ferris-Lay
Thu 22 Sep 2011 09:19 AM

Bahrain
has created a fund to pay compensation to citizens injured during the Gulf
state’s unrest in a decree aimed at easing tensions ahead its parliamentary
elections this week.

The
National Victims Compensation Fund will issue compensation to anyone who was
“materially morally or physically harmed" by security forces or public
officials during protests this year, state news agency BNA reported.

The Gulf
state saw weeks of protests in February and March as anti-government protesters took to
the streets demanding higher living standards and equal representation.

Bahrain
in March imposed martial law and called in troops from its Gulf neighbours in a
bid to quell weeks of unrest amid mass pro-reform demonstrations.

More
than 30 people have died since the start of the unrest, drawing criticism from
human rights groups.

Families
of the victims and people injured will qualify for the compensation, according
to a decree issued by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa.

Tensions
have been rising ahead of a by-election for 18 seats in its 40-member
parliament this week. Authorities on Tuesday warned anti-government protestors
they could lose their driver's licenses for up to one year if they carried out
threats to create massive traffic jams to disrupt the elections.

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