BEIRUT, Lebanon, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- A member of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights has trouble walking after he was beaten by riot police, Human Rights Watch said.
Nabeel Rajab, the head of the center, was beaten by security forces responding to demonstrations last week.
The U.S. State Department said investigations into Rajab's claims were under way but the government in Manama was called on to exercise restraint.
Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch, said from Beirut the incident shows the Sunni-led government has no tolerance for dissent.
"The authorities need to investigate this incident and hold those responsible for the attack to account," she said in a statement. Her organization added that at least three other demonstrators were injured during the attacks that left Rajab hobbled by back pain.
Whitson added that demonstrators her organization spoke with said riot police started firing tear gas at protesters almost immediately after a five-minute warning was given to disperse.
The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry concluded in November that state security forces used unnecessary lethal force when responding to a Shiite uprising last year.
The government there said it had set up its own commission to examine allegations of deaths, torture and inhumane treatment.