Bahrain puts five policemen on trial for rights abuses

December 31, 2011

A Bahraini court will next month look into the case of five policemen for their role in the death of a detainee.

“The public prosecution has referred a case of torture and mistreatment by employees of the Ministry of Interior to the High Criminal Court,” Nawaf Hamza, the head of public prosecution, said.

Two of the defendants were charged with torture and mistreatment of the detainee that led to death, while the other three defendants will face charges of negligence, for their failure to report the incident, he said.

The court will start reviewing the case on January 11.

Bahrain has pledged to take legal action against ministry staff who abused their authority during the incidents that hit the country.

A report by an international fact-finding mission that looked into the events of February and March and their consequences had taken the government and the opposition to task after it listed violations and abuses.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), formed by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa in June, carried a four-month investigation and published its findings, observations and recommendations in a searing report.

King Hamad accepted the report, set up a national commission as per one of the recommendations, and called upon all parties to assume their responsibilities in addressing issues.

The interior ministry called in two experts from the US and Britain, for assistance and announced a series of measures to improve its work and record, including transferring abusers to the public prosecution.



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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