Bahrain sets up fact-finding team on unrest
Manama, June 29, 2011
Bahrain's His Majesty King Hamad has ordered the formation of an independent fact-finding team to investigate weeks of protests that rocked the kingdom earlier this year, the state news agency said.
The announcement comes ahead of a national dialogue, set to start on Saturday, which the government hails as a chance for reforms and reconciliation in a country riven with sectarian divisions.
"We still need to look at what happened to know all the details of February and March and evaluate those events as they really were," His Majesty King Hamad said, speaking at an extraordinary cabinet session.
The king said in a statement released by Bahrain News Agency that Bahrain had consulted with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on establishing the committee.
"For there were victims of violence whom we cannot forget...A lack of confidence has prevailed and vision has been blurred by rumours."
No opposition leaders were immediately available to comment on how the move might affect their participation in the dialogue -- they have yet to say whether they would even attend.
Bahrain's rulers have accused the pro-democracy protesters of having a sectarian agenda with backing from Shi'ite power Iran, across Gulf waters. - Reuters