Bahrain rights body shuts doors after protest crowd

August 16, 2011 12:13

DUBAI - A state-appointed commission probing rights abuses in Bahrain said on Tuesday it had closed its office to visitors bringing in complaints after protesters mobbed it over misleading reports that the panel had cleared government officials of wrongdoing.

Bahrain's king invited the panel, headed by international law professor Cherif Bassiouni, to examine charges of widespread torture and abuse by security forces during two months of martial law after pro-democracy unrest was suppressed.

Recent comments by Bassiouni praising the cooperation of the interior minister and saying he could see no policy of excessive use of force or torture infuriated majority Shi'ite Muslims, who dominated the protests and bore the brunt of the crackdown.

"Hundreds of people forced their way into our office, having been angered over what they believed to be the Commission Chair's 'conclusions' in the investigation," the panel said.

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