* Two reporters taken in for questioning on Sunday
* Obama has criticised crackdown in U.S.-allied Gulf state
DUBAI, May 24 (Reuters) - Bahrain will investigate allegations that a woman reporter was mistreated after being detained in the Gulf Arab state, the Interior Ministry said on Wednesday.
“The correspondent was asked to come to (give) her side of the story, while investigations will continue,” the ministry said.
Its statement did not name the reporter, but Mazen Mahdi, who works for the German news agency DPA, said he and Nazeeha Saeed, a Bahraini reporter for France 24 television and Radio Monte Carlo, had been called in for questioning on Sunday.
“They questioned me about my Twitter postings, stories published on DPA, and if I had links to Lebanese or Iranian media,” Mahdi said.
Mahdi said he had been held for several hours, handcuffed, blindfolded and beaten about the head until a senior officer arrived to interrogate him.
The Bahraini Information Ministry could not be immediately reached for comment. Bahraini officials have repeatedly said they will investigate allegations of mistreatment.
U.S.-allied Bahrain was thrown into turmoil in February by street protests calling for democratic reforms. These were put down in March in a government crackdown that included calling in troops from neighbouring Gulf Arab countries.
Hundreds have been detained and four people died in police custody. Two protesters have been sentenced to death for the murder of two policemen during clashes. Four journalists from Bahrain’s only opposition newspaper pleaded ‘not guilty’ last week to charges of fabricating news about the security forces’ crackdown against protesters.
Last week U.S. President Barack Obama criticised the crackdown, saying that “mass arrests and brute force” were at odds with the universal rights of Bahrain’s citizens and would not make legitimate calls for reform disappear.
The authorities say the protesters, mainly from Bahrain’s Shi’ite Muslim majority, were driven by sectarian aims and influenced by the Shi’ite power Iran. (Editing by Kevin Liffey)