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Bahrain to pay protesters' families over deaths

Bahrain has promised to pay the families of 17 people killed during anti-government protests last year.

Bahrain protest deaths compensation 26 06 2012Enlarge
Bahraini children hold up pictures of tortured democracy activists as they pose in front of graffiti depicting a scene of anti-government demonstrations in the Shiite village of Barbar on the western outskirts of the capital Manama. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

Bahrain will pay compensation to the families of some of those killed during anti-government protests last year, the justice ministry has said.

A total of $2.6 million will be paid out to 17 families, according to a statement cited by the Bahrain News Agency. That amounts to $153,000 per case.

The statement did not give any details of the cases involved.

More from GlobalPost: Protest inquiry charges Bahrain government with excessive force

According to a report into the government's handling of the uprising, published in November, at least 35 people died in protests between February and April 2011.

A special panel set up to investigate alleged human rights abuses, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), concluded that Bahraini security forces used excessive force to clear demonstrations, made unlawful arrests and subjected detainees to physical and psychological torture.

Most casualties were protesters and other civilians, the panel said, but their report also documented the deaths of five security personnel.

The government established a fund in September to pay compensation to people harmed "physically or morally" by security forces, the Associated Press reported.

Despite the announcement of these and other reforms, Amnesty International says it continues to receive reports of human rights violations, including the use of excessive force against protesters, torture of detainees, and continued imprisonment of many of those arrested and tried in military courts during the unrest.

More from GlobalPost: Bahrain's youngest detainee released on bail