Manama: Twelve prison guards will go on trial later this month on charges of assaulting inmates in Bahrain, a chief prosecutor was quoted as saying Thursday, as the country is seeking to boost human rights.

The 12 defendants include two officers, who were investigated by a prosecution commission for physically attacking inmates in the Jaw Prison near Manama, Bahraini newspaper Al Ayam reported.

The Special Investigation Unit last month initiated an inquiry into complaints that the 12 had assaulted a number of inmates in Jaw.

“The unit concluded based on evidence that the accused are responsible for the violation, and ordered the referral of the 12 defendants to the court,” head of the commission Mohammad Khalid Al Hazah said.

The court hearings will start on May 20.

The prosecutor added that in the first four months of this year, the commission received 29 complaints of alleged torture, maltreatment and the use of excessive force by security forces.

In the process of investigating them, the panel listened to a total of 63 complainants and 41 witnesses and questioned 67 suspects, Al Hazah said.

In a separate case, the Bahraini Junior Criminal Court earlier this year sentenced a security guard to six months in prison on charges of assaulting a person, according to the prosecutor.

The appeals court later confirmed the verdict after rejecting the convict’s challenge, he added without giving details.