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Human Rights Crisis Continues in Bahrain
  Rights violations continue in Bahrain and the government's response to the findings of an international commission of inquiry have proved inadequate, campaign group Amnesty International said.
Tuesday 17 April 2012 10:01
Code : 53559
Human Rights Crisis Continues in Bahrain
Bfnews: As the country prepares to host the Grand Prix, Amnesty warned "no-one should be under any illusions that the country's human rights crisis is over".

The rights group said in a report released on Tuesday that Bahrain had failed to achieve justice for protesters with the piecemeal and superficial reforms implemented following the November 2011 report of the state-appointed Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI).

The BICI, set up by King Hamad bin Issa Al Khalifa submitted a hardhitting report of its investigation into human rights violations committed in connection with the anti-government protests last year.

It found that security forces had used excessive force to suppress protests and tortured detainees to extract confessions.

Amnesty's investigation found that Bahrain's overall response to those findings has been near zilch.

"The authorities are trying to portray the country as being on the road to reform, but we continue to receive reports of torture and use of unnecessary and excessive force against protests. Their reforms have only scratched the surface," said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa deputy director.

"The government's huge financial investment in international experts to help them reform will go to waste unless it shows real political will to take difficult decisions - in particular, holding to account senior members of the security forces accused of violations, releasing prisoners of conscience and addressing the underlying discrimination against the Shiite majority population."

Anti-government protesters have been holding peaceful demonstrations across Bahrain since mid-February 2011, calling for an end to the Al Khalifa dynasty's over-40-year rule.

Violence against the defenseless people escalated after a Saudi-led conglomerate of police, security and military forces from the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) member states - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar - were dispatched to the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom on March 13, 2011, to help Manama crack down on peaceful protestors.

So far, tens of people have been killed, hundreds have gone missing and thousands of others have been injured.