Bahrain: 15 police probed over abuse claims

By the Associated Press | July 3, 2012 | 3:39 PM EDT

MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Bahrain has launched an investigation against 15 police officers over allegations of abuse of inmates, an official said Tuesday.

The probe follows 11 new complaints filed with his office in June, Nawaf Hamza, head of a special investigations unit set up by the public prosecutor's office, said in a statement. He did not identify the officers involved of give details of the allegations against them.

The unit is assigned to investigate charges of abuse by police. Officials say it was set up in response to recommendations by a commission authorized by Bahrain's Sunni Muslim rulers to investigate the widespread unrest that erupted last year.

In another development, the Information Affairs Authority said forensic experts from London's Metropolitan Police have arrived to help local authorities investigate the site of an alleged bomb-making facility discovered last month.

Police said last week they were searching for three suspects after discovering what were described as large amounts of highly explosive bomb-making materials during a June raid.

Bahrain has experienced near daily protests for more than 16 months in an uprising by the kingdom's Shiite majority, which seeks greater political rights from the Western-backed Sunni monarchy. The island kingdom is home to the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet.