A special commission investigating Bahrain’s March crackdown on Shiite-led protests said on Wednesday that police used “excessive force” and tortured detainees. The findings declared by the head of the Bahrain Independent commission for Inquiry, Cherif Bassiouni, revealed that security forces “used excessive force” while “many detainees were tortured.”
Bahrain’s leader King Hamad commissioned the report to probe allegations of government misconduct and human rights abuses against protesters and opposition figures. “We will introduce and implement reforms that would please all segments of our society,” the monarch said
Earlier, an official spokesman said the government accepts the criticisms.”We took the initiative in asking for this thorough and detailed inquiry to seek the truth and we accept it.” The statement, cited by AFP, said the government regretted the “mistreatment of detainees, as well as five deaths as a result of torture.”
The report acknowledged that the commission did not find proof of an Iran link to the unrest, dispelling widespread allegations that Tehran played a role in instigating the mainly Shiite protests. “Evidence presented to the commission did not prove a clear link between the events in Bahrain and Iran,” said Bassiouni.
However, King Hamad, who was present at the panel’s announcement of the findings, insisted that Iranian propaganda incited the “sectarian strife” during unrest. “Iran’s propaganda fuelled the flames of sectarian strife — an intolerable interference in our internal affairs from which Bahrain has suffered greatly,” he said.