Bahrain inquiry commission office attacked
Manama, August 16, 2011
Hundreds of people last night (August 15) stormed the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) offices in Manama, attacked those inside and put up leaflets on the walls against the panel's mission and practices.
In a statement, the BICI said hundreds forced their way into its offices, having been angered over what they believed to be commission chairman Professor Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni's 'conclusions' on the investigation, and were directed by activists on Twitter and through mass texts to come to the offices to report their complaints.
'As we have advised on our website and Twitter, appointments must be made in order for our investigators to best serve the witnesses and victims. After attempting to accommodate the crowd by offering to take down their information to schedule appointments, some in the crowd became restless and verbally and physically threatened the staff.
'Individuals yelled insults, posted threatening messages on the walls, sent threats via text and email, and shoved and spat at a member of staff. Individuals also continued to photograph and video-record people in the office, despite advice that such actions undermine the confidentiality and safety of the witnesses and victims coming forward,' it said.
The panel clarified that it had not reached any conclusion as the investigation is on-going. Certain media outlets and activists have misrepresented Prof Bassiouni's comments to support their political positions, the statement said.
The panel will not allow itself to be used as a political tool for any group, it said, adding the offices were closed until further notice. Investigators will continue to accept statements submitted by email. – TradeArabia News Service