London to review human rights in Bahrain

Dec. 13, 2011 at 12:44 PM

LONDON, Dec. 13 (UPI) -- All members of the political environment in Bahrain are called on to seize the opportunity for national reconciliation, a British official said.

British Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt left Tuesday for Bahrain for a two-day visit to the Sunni-led kingdom. His office said the purpose of the visit is to discuss how London can assist implementation of recommendations outlined in an independent review of a Shiite uprising early this year.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry concluded state security forces used unnecessary lethal force during the crackdown.

Burt said from London, before leaving on his trip, that the British government welcomed Bahrain's decision to back the BICI report.

"I urge all groups in Bahrain, in particular the opposition, to engage fully to seize this moment for reconciliation and broader reform," he said in a statement. "As Bahrain looks to the future the U.K. will continue to stand with it as a close friend and ally."

Ravina Shamdasani, a spokeswoman for the U.N. human rights office, said a four-member team was on its way to Bahrain, at the request of the government and the Red Cross, to assess treatment of detainees in the country.

The official Bahrain News Agency adds that the government set up its own commission to examine allegations of deaths, torture and inhumane treatment.

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