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Bahrain: International Commission to investigate torture claims

last updated Jul 26, 2011

After the announcement of King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa to launch an independent investigation to establish whether the protesterís human rights have been abused by security forces, a commission has been set up under chairman Cherif Bassiouni. The investigation will analyse the incidents following the street protests during the last few months. Hundreds of people were arrested, 33 people killed and numerous injured during the demonstratorís attempts to trigger political change.

Thousands of demonstrators in Musalla, Bahrain on 22 July
Thousands of demonstrators in Musalla, Bahrain on 22 July; Source: Mohamed CJ (Wikimedia Commons)

Bassiouni has announced that the five-member panel will look at the role of security forces and the army, particularly investigating claims of torture in detention. Bahrain has denied systematic torture and promised that all cases of torture will be investigated. It remains to be seen to what extent the commission will be allowed access to documents and witnesses.

The five-member panel is headed by the Egyptian-American law professor and UN war crimes expert Bassiouni. The other members are Canadian judge and former ICC president Philippe Kirsch, British human rights lawyer Nigel Rodley, Iranian lawyer Mahnoush Arsanjani and Kuwaiti Islamic law expert Badria al-Awadhi.

Reuters: Bahrain commission to investigate army, torture claims

Bahrain country profile