More than 5,700 People Questioned in Bahrain Unrest

Written by  Published by:Shiite News
Published in Middle East
Wednesday, 19 October 2011

shiitenews bahrain arrestLocal media in Bahrain say the international panel investigating months of anti-government protests and crackdowns in the Persian Gulf kingdom has interviewed more than 5,000 witnesses and alleged victims over the past three months.
 A report in Bahrain’s state-owned [Persian] Gulf Daily News newspaper says investigators have spoken with 5,700 people about the unrest that began in February when the kingdom’s

Shiite majority rose up to demand greater rights.
The Bahrain Commission of Inquiry was set up in July with the consent of the country’s discriminate rulers.
Sunday’s report in the English-language newspaper says detainees, police personnel, doctors and journalists are among those interviewed by the five-member panel.
Its findings will be published in a report due by Oct. 31.
Separately, the Obama administration said Friday that a proposed arms sale to Bahrain is designed only for the Persian Gulf kingdom’s “external defense,” seeking to soothe concerns the weapons would be used on protesters.
In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Republican Senator Marco Rubio echoed other lawmakers’ concerns in urging the administration to delay the sale of any items in the $53 million weapons package that could be used against protesters in Bahrain.
But State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland insisted the weapons sale “is designed to support the Bahraini military in its external defense function.”
“And we do have an interest in Bahrain being able to be strong militarily vis-a-vis the regional challenges that they face,” Nuland added.
She also stressed that Washington considers human rights concerns before seeking arms sales.
The senator’s letter came as pressure mounted in Congress against the proposed sale after Bahraini security forces in mid-March crushed a month-long protest that authorities say left 24 people dead, including four policemen. The opposition puts the death toll at 31.
U.S. lawmakers expressed dismay in January when it came to light that tear gas used against Egyptian demonstrators against deposed president Hosni Mubarak was found to be “Made in America.”
Since then, some have sought tighter restrictions on weapons and non-lethal equipment provided to Middle Eastern governments that could be used against protesters in the “Arab Spring” pro-democracy movement.
Since mid-February, people in Bahrain have been calling on the ruling Al Khalifa family to release its decades-long grip on power.
The Bahraini forces have arrested hundreds of people during crackdown on the peaceful anti-discriminate protesters.
On March 14, troops and police forces from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates invaded the country to assist the Bahraini government's crackdown.
Dozens of people have been killed so far and many more wounded in the Saudi-backed attacks on demonstrators.

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