Rights group disputes Bahrain news reports

Feb. 22, 2013 at 11:21 AM

PARIS, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- The International Federation for Human Rights said statements from the official Bahrain News Agency on human rights reforms were erroneous.

The rights consortium said it met with lawmakers from Bahrain last week in Paris to discuss human rights concerns in the country.

Riot police this month responded to demonstrations in Manama. Dozens of demonstrators died during 2011 protests against the Sunni-led monarchy. Since then, the government has detained or revoked the citizenship from opposition leaders.

The rights group, known by its French initials FIDH, disputed a Feb. 19 report from BNA that stated it had expressed its appreciation for steps taken to address the recommendations of an independent commission of inquiry.

"Contrary to this gross erroneous statement supposedly based on members of Parliament's statement, FIDH has actually expressed concern for ongoing grave and systematic human rights violations attributable to state authorities and involving political leadership's responsibility," the rights consortium stated.

FIDH said it was particularly concerned about the detention of top pro-democracy leaders, adding it "kindly advises" the government to use state resources on things other than "misleading" public relations campaigns.

There was no corresponding response from BNA.

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