World Bulletin / News Desk
Bahrain has charged 15 policemen with "mistreatment" of prisoners, the government said on Tuesday, as part of an investigation into reports of torture of protesters.
Bahrain's human rights record has come under scrutiny since the authorities crushed Shi'ite Muslim-led demonstrations demanding democratic reform in the Sunni-ruled country that broke out in February 2011, inspired by Arab revolts elsewhere.
"The latest complaints were made during the month of June and nine of the complainants have already been questioned, resulting in three of them being referred to forensic doctors," Nawaf Hamza, head of the Public Prosecution's Special Investigation Unit, said in a statement.
"As a result 15 policemen have been questioned and informed of the charges against them. The investigation of the remaining complaints and those involved is ongoing."
The latest charges come after policemen accused of mistreatment of detainees and use of excessive force were sentenced to five years in prison, the IAA said. It did not say how many policemen were sentenced.
The IAA had said in June that 19 security personnel were being investigated, including some officers, and that two officers were sentenced to three months in prison last month.
A commission of international legal experts reported in November that torture had been systematically used to punish and extract confessions from hundreds of protesters during a period of martial law after a crackdown on anti-government protests.
It also said that 35 people, mainly protesters, died during the unrest and that five of them died as a result of torture.
Although Bahraini security forces, backed by Saudi troops, broke up a mass protest camp in Manamain March 2011, police and demonstrators continue to clash almost daily. Each side blames the other for the violence.
Bahrain has put several police officers on trial for abuse and lethal torture, but international rights groups and opposition activists say the government is avoiding accountability at higher, policy-making levels.
Last month Bahrain's interior minister said that police had been given no orders to torture or kill protesters.
Human Rights Watch says Egypt courts have sentenced more than 150 people to prison since May for staging peaceful protests
Russia delays airstrikes in Syria to allow various armed groups to separate from al-Nusra Front
A shock new theory has emerged on the EgyptAir Flight MS804 air disaster claiming it could have been caused by a meteor
B'Tselem group says army investigations are slow, inefficient and rarely lead to convictions
'The discussions have become more sensitive and delicate bringing us closer to a comprehensive agreement,' UN envoy says
Leading human rights group Amnesty International has criticized a dozen European countries for complicity in Egypt’s crackdown on dissent through their arms exports to the African country.
Chief forensic official dismisses reports suggesting that last week’s EgyptAir plane crash might have been caused by explosion
Far-right Israeli opposition lawmaker Avigdor Lieberman has agreed with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on terms for joining the coalition government as its new defense ministe
Foreign Minister Lavrov says 'convinced it would have been possible to more effectively and quickly liberate ISIL-occupied areas if Russian and US militaries started coordinating their actions
Syrian Democratic Forces units start an operation to liberate northern Raqqa province
'The T4 air base was severely damaged by an ISIL artillery attack. In particular, four Russian Mi-24 attack helicopters appear to have been destroyed,' a report says
State Comptroller Yosef Shapira is tasked with overseeing the use of public funds, and investigating allegations of double billing of flights by Netanyahu
The two countries set to conduct another round of talks on organising this year's pilgrimage for Iranians
Ban Ki-moon called situation in Syria 'heartbreaking' at World Humanitarian Summit
US envoy Michael Ratney calls on Syrian opposition groups to respect the truce despite Assad regime's violations
The Moscow-proposed move aims to 'stabilise the situation' in the areas