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.
"We clearly announce that we have not and will not support any candidate in the upcoming elections," he said in a letter, signed by himself and his former deputy and presidential hopeful Hamid Baghaie.
Sinai has remained at the epicenter of a deadly militant insurgency since 2013
The official told AFP that two fighters were also wounded in the attack on the Al-Fawwar camp near Quneitra in southwestern Syria, adding that it was unclear whether the damage was inflicted by an air strike or shelling.
King Salman replaces cabinet members, US ambassador in reshuffle
Assad has said repeatedly that his forces turned over all chemical weapons stockpiles in 2013, under a deal brokered by Russia to avoid threatened US military action.
Some 150 Syrian families seek aid at Atma refugee camp near Turkish border
Dozens of opposition activists are either in jail or are facing trial for insulting the emir, including via social media.
Attack comes 'in response to rocket attacks from Syria'
Influential Guardian Council rejects former president’s application to compete in May 19 polls
Ten of the 45 buses carrying civilians and loyalist fighters from the besieged government-held towns of Fuaa and Kafraya left the marshalling area in rebel-held Rashidin, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Israel has sought to avoid being dragged into the six-year civil war in Syria, but acknowledges carrying out air strikes there to stop what it says are deliveries of advanced weapons to Hezbollah.
"Based on a decision by the Election Campaign Monitoring Commission, the election debates of the candidates will be broadcast pre-recorded," said ministry spokesman Seyed Salman Samani.
Jamie McGoldrick, the UN humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, said Hodeida on the Red Sea, which is under the control of Iran-backed Huthi rebels, is a vital lifeline for Yemeni civilians threatened with starvation.
The draft decision, seen by AFP, calls for an investigation "to establish whether chemical weapons were used in Khan Sheikhun and how they were delivered to the site of the reported incident" -- even though a probe is already underway.