Bahrain has started disbursing compensation totaling $2.6 million to the families of 17 people killed during last year’s unrest, the Information Affairs Authority said.
The Justice Ministry set up the civil settlement initiative in line with recommendations from an independent international commission that investigated possible human-rights abuses during mass protests in February and March 2011. At least 35 people were killed during the rallies and an ensuing crackdown through April last year, the commission has said.
Today’s e-mailed IAA statement quoted Judge Khalid Hassan Ajaji, an assistant undersecretary at the ministry, as saying that compensation for the 17 cases “was assessed on the basis of civil court precedents.”
Protesters led by Bahrain’s Shiite majority last year demanded equal rights and representation from the Sunni monarchy, leading to a crackdown by security forces in which troops from neighboring Saudi Arabia, also ruled by Sunnis, were called in to help. Tensions in the island nation have simmered in Shiite areas since then.
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