Bahrain reshapes NSA, eyes international deals to improve police work

November 29, 2011

Bahrain is signing contracts with several “highly qualified and outstanding experts and specialists” from the US and the UK to assist in developing police work, the interior minister has said.

“The ministry will also cooperate with international organisations to develop training curricula and the preparation of the ministry’s staff,” Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa said.

“It will also seek assistance from human right international centres, in addition to the International Red Cross, to benefit from their expertise in developing police work in arrest and detention procedures, dealing with protestors and boosting a sense of accountability according to human rights principles,” the minister said.

The new moves by the ministry will result in drafting of a code of conduct for police work that would include details on how a policeman should perform his duties according to international and local legal criteria and rules.

“These rules should be followed by all policemen assigned to enforce the law,” he said.

Major steps to be implemented under the reforms will include the re-organisation of some agencies of the ministry and the adaptation of necessary legal and administrative procedures to link the legal system of the ministry directly to the minister.


The system will also be developed, modernised and provided with competent staff and specialized and dedicated judges will be hired to ensure more neutrality and independence to perform duties and maintain justice by expediting rulings with commitment to judicial rules, the minister said.

The ministry is also looking into a draft law to amend the powers of courts at the ministry to confine their responsibilities to disciplinary offenses.

Legislation to guarantee visual and audio recording for the questioning of detainees is also being drafted, he said.


Last week, a report issued by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) highlighted shortcomings within the government and recommended a series of reforms.
Shaikh Rashid said that the ministry had set up a task force to review the report and adopt an appropriate mechanism to implement the recommendations and boost police work and security performance in accordance with international standards and best practice.

The National Security Agency (NSA) was also reformed by a royal decree that defined its new prerogatives.


The NSA is now tasked with collecting intelligence information and uncovering spying activities and collaboration with foreign countries.

The agency will refer cases requiring arrest or detention to the interior ministry.
In a separate decree, King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa appointed Major-General Adel Bin Khalifa Bin Hamad Al Fadhel the new acting head of the NSA.

Shaikh Khalifa Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, the former chief, was appointed secretary general of the Supreme Defence Council and national security advisor to the King.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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