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Bahraini princess on trial for torturing detainees

ABU DHABI  - A Bahraini princess who works as a police officer is on trial for torturing two doctors while they were in detention during political unrest in the Gulf Arab kingdom in 2011, according to a senior official at Bahrain's Public Prosecutor's office.
Sheikha Noura bint Ibrahim al-Khalifa is also facing a separate trial for physically assaulting Aayat al-Qormozi, a young female Shi'ite opposition activist, while she was in detention during the same period, Nawaf Hamza, head of the Public Prosecution's Special Investigation Unit.
"The charge is that she used torture, force and threats against the victims Zahra al-Sammak and Kholoud al-Durazi to make them confess to a crime," Hamza, referring to the two doctors, told Reuters by telephone.
The alleged torture took place in March and April 2011, a period when the US-allied kingdom was convulsed by unrest following the start in February of demonstrations led by majority Shi'ites demanding democratic change in the Sunni-led monarchy.
An independent commission said 35 people died during the unrest and two months of martial law that followed, but the opposition puts that number at more than 80. The government rejects the figures and has accused opposition groups of being linked to Shi'ite power Iran.
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