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A report released Wednesday says government security forces in Bahrain used excessive violence and torture while trying to stop Arab Spring-inspired demonstrations.
The report was issued by an independant council of internationally-recognised members, and was commissioned by the Sunni led government.
The head of the council said the report found most, but not all, of the violence was directed towards the mostly Shi'ite demonstrators.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) HEAD OF BAHRAIN INQUIRY CHERIF BASSIOUNI SAYING:
''Violent beatings, punching, hitting with rubber hoses, hitting with electric wires on the feet, hitting with sticks and metal sticks and wooden sticks and other things and electric shocks and sleep deprivation and exposure to high temperatures and verbal abuse and threats of rape and insults to religious faiths. In general, these acts come under the definition of torture according to anti-torture convention."
The government conceeded the allegations but stressed the report's finding that the torture and violence was not systematic.
Bahrain's King offered this appology.
(SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) KING HAMAD OF BAHRAIN SAYING:
''We will not forgive or be lenient over bad treatment of the detainees and prisoners. We are pained and we are sorry to know that this has actually happened to some people according to what was mentioned in the report.''
Early in the crackdowns, the government had accused Iran of interferring on the side of the Shi'ite majority. The report dismissed those claims.
Opposition leaders reacted cautiously to the report saying they will wait to see how what actions the government takes next.
Julie Noce, Reuter