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Wed 29 Aug 2012 05:05 PM

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Bahrain pays out $2.6m in unrest compensation

Local media reports that cash paid out in 17 cases with another 35 still to be decided

Bahrain pays out $2.6m in unrest compensation
Bahrain faced international condemnation from governments and human rights groups after its crackdown on demonstrators.

Authorities in Bahrain have paid out US$2.7m in compensation in 17 cases relating to unrest during 2011, it was reported.

In an interview with Arabic media, as reported by Gulf Daily News, Justice, Islamic Affairs and Endowments Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa said another 35 cases were pending, but would be resolved shortly.

Last month, the Interior Ministry ordered an investigation into possible rights violations by police during the Gulf state’s crackdown on anti-government protestors last year.

Lt-General Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior, said Bahrain was “fully committed to upholding human rights standards and maintaining transparency in its investigations”.

The probe into alleged police abuses was in line with recommendations by a report by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry.

 The report said that 35 people died during the Gulf state’s unrest, which began in February 2011 after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. Five died due to torture, it said.

Bahrain faced international condemnation from governments and human rights groups after its crackdown on the Shi'ite demonstrators took to the streets last year demanding an end to sectarian discrimination and more say in government.

Authorities last month charged 15 policemen with “mistreatment” of detainees as part of the country’s investigation into reports of torture of protesters rounded up during the unrest. Several other policemen have been sentenced to imprisonment, the Information Affairs Authority said earlier.

Although the Gulf state has put police officers on trial for abuse, international rights groups and opposition activists claim the government is dodging accountability at higher levels where security policy is decided.

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