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Regime offers “blood money” to victims as it seeks to appease Public Relations demands of Western Benefactors

Rights group condemns “insulting” Bahrain payouts
26 June, 2012 – Al Akhbar

A leading Bahraini rights group on Tuesday condemned the decision to pay the families killed by security forces as “insulting.”

Bahrain announced it would pay $2.6 million to 17 families over deaths last year during an uprising that the Gulf Arab state put down by force.

“Disbursement of compensation to the families of 17 deceased persons has begun in keeping with the implementation of the recommendations of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI),” said a government statement citing a justice ministry official, adding this amounted to $153,000 per individual.

It gave no details on who the recipients were.

Yet Maryam Al-Khawaja, acting head of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights, said the payouts were an “insult” to the dead.

“The Bahraini government has been not only refused to acknowledge the pain and suffering of the people who lost family during the protest movement because of the excessive use of force, but it has also targeted those families – either through arrests or desecrating the graves of those killed,” she said.

“The offering of monetary compensation seems a little disingenuous and there are many that feel its more of an insult than anything else,” she added.

The BICI, an investigative body head by international legal experts, said in November at least 35 people died during the crackdown on the unrest, which began in February 2011 after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia.

The dead were mainly protesters, but also included five security personnel and seven foreigners. The report said five people died due to torture.

Bahrain, host to the US Fifth Fleet, has been under pressure to implement the BICI recommendations of police, judicial, media and education reform. …more

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