Bahrain opposition says repression `systematic`

Bahrain`s largest opposition group Wednesday dismissed a government statement acknowledging "instances" of abuse, saying the repression of mainly Shiite anti-government protesters is "systematic."

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2011, 12:15 PM IST

Dubai: Bahrain`s largest opposition group Wednesday dismissed a government statement acknowledging "instances" of abuse, saying the repression of mainly Shiite anti-government protesters is "systematic."

Meanwhile, three rights groups issued a report
documenting acts of repression, on the eve of the planned
release of a report by an independent commission of inquiry
into the kingdom`s crackdown on dissent.

The opposition Al-Wefaq said in a statement the
Sunni-dominated government is trying to escape responsibility
for "violations leading to numerous fatalities and hundreds of
injuries on junior security personnel."

The Wefaq statement said the February and March bloody crackdown on protesters was "systematic" and the result of a "planned" government policy.

Al-Wefaq argued that the sheer number and nature of
"abuses could not have taken place without prior knowledge and
consent of influential officials," adding that the "ultimate
responsibility lies with the top decision makers rather than
junior officials and soldiers."

Yesterday, the Manama government acknowledged there had
been "instances of excessive force and mistreatment of
detainees," and said 20 officers are being prosecuted.

Authorities say 24 people, including four policemen, were
killed in the month-long uprising, while the Shiite-led
opposition puts the death toll at 30. Hundreds more were
injured and detained.

Bahraini rights groups said in a report that 45 killings
by security forces have been documented, three "attributed to
the wrongful use of tear gas inside residential homes, which
led to the suffocation of those unable to escape in time."

PTI