(MENAFN - Arab News) King Hamad of Bahrain pledged reforms on Wednesday after a commission of inquiry handed over its report to him. The final report issued by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry also said that it did not find any proof of human rights violations caused by the presence of the Peninsula Shield forces.
The panel, led by Egyptian-American international law expert Cherif Bassiouni, said it had carried out its mission according to international standards, asserting that the government has played a major role in ensuring its success.
King Hamad commissioned the report to investigate the incidents that Bahrain went through in February and March.
"We will introduce and implement reforms that would please all segments of our society," he said in his speech Wednesday.
The king also expressed "dismay" at the mistreatment of detainees. "We do not tolerate the mistreatment of detainees and prisoners. We are dismayed to find that it has occurred, as your report has found," he said.
The US welcomed the king's pledge to implement reforms, saying it offered an "historic opportunity" for reconciliation.
State Department spokesman Mark Toner said: "We are studying it but we do welcome this release and we commend King Hamad's initiative and leadership."
Responding earlier to the findings of the commission, an official spokesman said the government accepts the criticisms.
"We took the initiative in asking for this thorough and detailed inquiry to seek the truth and we accept it."
The report also acknowledged that the commission did not find proof of an Iran link to the unrest.
However, King Hamad, who was present at the panel's announcement of the findings, insisted that Iranian propaganda incited the "sectarian strife" during unrest.
"Iran's propaganda fueled the flames of sectarian strife - an intolerable interference in our internal affairs from which Bahrain has suffered greatly," he said.
The report said the death toll from the unrest reached 35, including five security personnel and five detainees who died while in custody. Hundreds were also injured.
The findings said that 11 other people were killed later.
The commission concluded that a total of 2,929 people were detained during the protest movement.