The court ordered the payment to the family of a young man who died from injuries sustained during an anti-Israeli protest in Manama three years ago, their lawyer said on Tuesday.

Muhammad Ahmad said: "The higher appeals court on Monday upheld a court ruling [issued in April 2004] which ordered the interior ministry to compensate the family of Muhammad Juma al-Shakhuri."

Ahmad added that Shakhuri died after being hit in the head by a rubber-coated metal bullet during an April 2002 demonstration outside the US embassy.

The ruling, the first ever against a ministry in Bahrain, provided for compensation totaling 50,000 dinars (around $133,000) - $93,000 to the family, about $13,000 in separate compensation to both the mother and father of the victim, and the rest in fees.

"The appeals court's decision confirms the responsibility of the interior ministry for the behaviour of those affiliated to it, (in this case) riot police," Ahmad said.