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U.N. critical of Bahrain's cancellation of prison torture inquiry

April 24, 2013 at 4:50 PM

UNITED NATIONS, April 24 (UPI) -- A United Nations official urged Bahrain to allow him into the country to assess if prisoners are being tortured, a U.N. statement said Wednesday.

U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Juan E. Mendez said his planned visits to Bahrain, to learn if torture and ill-treatment of political prisoners is occurring, have been repeatedly postponed by the government on short notice.

The Bahraini government's decision to cancel Mendez' May 15 trip comes after another week of clashes between demonstrators and security forces, and the release of reports critical of what is described as Bahrain's failure to hold senior government officials responsible for alleged acts of prison torture since 2011, the U.N. statement said.

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