An international panel has begun investigating the five months of Shiite protests in Bahrain and the crackdown by the island nation's Sunni rulers that has killed at least 32 people.
The head of the five-member commission, Mahmoud Cherif Bassiouni, says the panel will meet with government and military officials and opposition leaders and activists, including those in custody for their role in demonstrations.
Bahrain's Shiite majority is demanding greater freedoms from the ruling Sunni dynasty.
Bassiouni said at a news conference Sunday that the commission will report its findings by Oct. 30.
Hundreds of protesters have been detained since February. Dozens were convicted of anti-state crimes in a special security tribunal. Eight prominent activists are serving life sentences.