About 33,000 Bahrainis signed the petition, said Sayed Jaffar Alawi, head of the National Committee for Martyrs and Torture Victims.

Among those who signed the petition are 3,500 people who  say they were tortured during imprisonment for political activities during the 1980s and 1990s.

“The first demand was to cancel law number 56 of 2002, which prohibits suing of officials responsible for torture,” Alawi said during a news conference in the capital Manama.

King Hamad issued the law following  the introduction of  reforms that included pardoning all political prisoners, activists in exile and abolishment of emergency laws.

Bahrain was racked by unrest during the 1980s and 1990s, mainly by Shia Muslims demanding the restoration of parliamentary life.

The petition also calls for the formation of a judicial committee, with representatives of human rights groups in Bahrain, to investigate past allegations of torture and killings.

It demands compensation for torture victims.