New York, NY (BBN) – The United Nations human rights office has announced it is dispatching a delegation to Bahrain, where serious rights violations are alleged to have occurred earlier this year.

A four-member team will head to Bahrain next week at the request of the Bahraini Government, according to Ravina Shamdasani, a spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).

“The delegation looks forward to engaging with the Government, civil society, members of the political opposition and victims of human rights violations in the country,” Ms. Shamdasani said in a statement on Friday.

The team – which will be headed by Bacre Ndiaye, the Director of the Human Rights Council and Special Procedures Division at OHCHR, and Frej Fenniche, the chief of the office’s Middle East and North Africa section – will then submit recommendations to High Commissioner Navi Pillay on the way forward for Bahrain.

The small island country was beset by violent clashes between security forces and protesters earlier this year, part of the Arab Spring uprising that has engulfed much of the region and led to the toppling of long-term regimes in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and Yemen.

Last month an independent inquiry into the alleged rights violations during the clashes found, according to media reports, that the government forces had used excessive force during the crackdown in February and March and had tortured some detainees.

BBN/SSR/AD-10Dec11-12:26 am (BST)