US urges Bahrain to implement recommendations of human rights probe
The United States expects the government of Bahrain to respond swiftly to the recommendations of a commission investigating alleged human rights abuses, a US official said Monday, dpa reported.
"We fully expect the government (of Bahrain) to respond appropriately and robustly," the US assistant deputy secretary of State for Arabian Peninsula Affairs, Stephen Seche, said in a press conference at the US Embassy in Manama.
"This a process they began ... they responded with seriousness of intent throughout the investigation, and we fully expect that seriousness of intent to continue when the recommendations are materialized," added Seche.
The report on the inquiry is expected to be delivered to King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa on October 30 and will be made public in its entirety.
Seche, who is on a three day visit to Bahrain, acknowledged mistakes from security forces in dealing with protesters but added that the commission could be used as a "confidence building" measure between the government and the opposition.
He also defended a proposed 53-million-dollar arms deal with the small Gulf island, saying that the final decision depended on respect for human rights by the authorities.
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry was tasked by the king to probe claims of systematic targeting of protesters during mass uprisings in February and March.
Protesters were demanding political reforms and greater freedoms in the Sunni-ruled, Shiite-majority kingdom.
Bahrain, which is home to the US Navy 5th Fleet, has accused Shiite-led Iran of meddling in the country's internal affairs and standing behind the protests.
The commission is currently examining the death of more then 30 people, the police detention and alleged torture of hundreds of protesters, and the sacking of more then 2,000 workers during the pro-democracy protests that erupted in Bahrain in February.