Bahrain Commission Closes Office After Clashes

Posted August 16th, 2011 at 4:40 am (UTC-5)
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An independent commission investigating the unrest in Bahrain earlier this year says it has closed its office after hundreds of people forced their way in and clashed with staff members.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry said in a statement Tuesday it will continue its work and that media reports saying it has reached any conclusions are false.

The clashes followed reports that the commission had cleared authorities of crimes against humanity during a violent government response to Shi'ite-led pro-democracy protests that left 32 people dead.

The five-member panel says it will still issue its report as scheduled in October.

Bahrain's Sunni rulers imposed martial law and crushed weeks of pro-democracy protests led by majority Shi'ites in March.

In addition to those killed during the crackdown, hundreds were arrested – mostly Shi'ites – and 2,000 were dismissed or suspended from their jobs.

The government has denied any systematic abuse by police, but has accused protesters of pursuing a sectarian agenda backed by neighboring Shi'ite power Iran.