The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has said Bahrain must rein in its security forces and called the military occupation of hospitals illegal.

“There are reports of arbitrary arrests, killings, beatings of protesters and of medical personnel, and of the takeover of hospitals and medical centres by various security forces,” said Pillay in a statement on 17 March.

“This is shocking and illegal conduct,” the statement added.

Already several members of Bahrain Shura council, appointed by King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa, along with several other judges, have resigned as a result of the assault on protesters in Bahrain that have left four more people dead, according to reports. Attacks on protests in February left seven Bahrainis dead.

In addition to the crackdown on protests, Bahrain security forces have also arrested six opposition activists, some who had been released just a few weeks earlier as a conciliation effort to get a negotiated settlement to the protests. They include leaders of the hardline Shia parties Haq and al-Wafa.