Bahrain probe panel to begin work next week

MANAMA — An independent commission of inquiry set up to probe recent incidents of violence in Bahrain will start its work next week by investigating 33 deaths took place during clashes here.

By (Our Correspondent)

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Published: Tue 26 Jul 2011, 11:33 PM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 9:12 AM

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) will also look into the cases of 400 injured people as well as 750 complaints it received from various sources.

Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, BICI chairman Mohammed Bassiouni said that investigators would also examine Ministry of Interior’s files relating to violence as well as progress made by 30 internal investigation panels formed to probe deaths and injuries.

He said the commission is an independent body and it members came with an international reputation and were properly qualified. He said the commission had been formed to look into the reasons behind unrest and suggest measures to prevent occurrence of such incidents it future.

The commission would also look into the dismissal of around 3,000 workers from the public and private sectors as well as withdrawal of scholarships and suspension of some students.

“During a meeting with non-government organisations on Sunday, some of their members highlighted that sackings were still going on and the matter would be looked into seriously,” he said.

The chairman said the commission has met many government officials and will meet more in the coming days, highlighting that he expects cooperation from them as ordered by His Majesty the King, Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, who formed the commission.

“We will visit detention centres and hold meetings with the National Security Agency over the arrest of 179 individuals. We will also hold meetings with the Bahrain Defence Force to discuss its activities as part of the duties of the commission,” Bassiouni said.

The commission will investigate all cases of violence against expatriate workers or non-Bahrainis working in security forces. However, it will not look into the case of bias or misleading media coverage as it is not directly related to its duties. “We are investigating what happened and how to stop and prevent it,” he said.

The chairman praised Bahrain for being the first Arab and Islamic country to launch an independent and international commission to investigate incidents. He hoped that the country will be an example for other countries to follow.

The commission’s report upon will not be confidential and will be made public. It might include names of those proven as violators but it will focus more on recommendations. The report will also include images provided by victims. “The report will be out by October. We have decided to keep the period of investigation short as the country needs a fast recovery,” he explained.

To reach the commission, victims could post their information via a special website, call or talk directly to the investigators.

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