International panel begins probe of Bahrain unrest

The panel will meet with Bahrain`s govt and military officials and opposition leaders and activists.

Last Updated: Jul 25, 2011, 11:15 AM IST

Manama: An international panel has begun investigating the five months of Shi’ite protests in Bahrain and the crackdown by the island nation`s Sunni rulers that has killed at least 32 people.

The head of the five-member commission, Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, says the panel will meet with government and military officials and opposition leaders and activists, including those in custody for their role in demonstrations.

Bahrain`s Shi’ite majority is demanding greater freedoms from the ruling Sunni dynasty.

Bassiouni said at a news conference on Sunday that the commission will report its findings by October 30.

Hundreds of protesters have been detained since February. Dozens were convicted of anti-state crimes in a special security tribunal. Eight prominent activists are serving life sentences.

Bureau Report