[JURIST] The Bahrain government on Tuesday announced that it would pay $2.6 million in restitution to the families of protesters killed in pro-democracy protests last year. The government said that the compensation was to comply with the recommendations [Reuters report] of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) [official website], which suggested in its report [JURIST report] last year that the government “compensate and provide remedies for the families of the deceased victims in a manner that is commensurate with the gravity of their loss.” The government reported that each person would receive approximately $153,000, but no list of families was released. The report, issued in November 2011, concluded that Bahrain authorities had used excessive force and tortured detainees involved in the pro-democracy demonstrations earlier that year. The report also recommended that the government compensate victims of torture and ill-treatment.
In April Amnesty International (AI) [advocacy website] criticized Bahrain [JURIST report] for continued human rights violations, noting that Bahrain’s reform efforts following the BICI report had failed to alleviate human rights abuses in the country. In November Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ordered a special commission [JURIST report] to investigate the BICI report which concluded that Bahraini authorities used excessive force and to make recommendations. The Bahrain government admitted the use of excessive force [JURIST report] in the protests. This admission, which was made in anticipation of the independent BICI report, was a reversal of the government’s previous defense of its actions [CNN report] during the protests. In June, Khalifa announced that an independent commission would investigate human rights violations [JURIST report] related to the pro-democracy protests.