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Bahrain police launch probe into interrogation footage

Suspects suspended, legal measures taken, police chief says

  • By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief
  • Published: 13:46 June 12, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Courtesy: YouTube
  • The Bahraini detainee reportedly admitted that he had been given money for acts of sabotage.

Manama: Bahrain’s police have opened a probe into video footage circulated on social networks that showed a Bahraini detainee being interrogated.

“An immediate investigation has been launched into a video being circulated showing the confession of a detainee on being incited to kill policemen,” Public Security Chief Major General Tareq Al Hassan said. “Legal steps have been taken and the suspects have been suspended from work and referred to investigation,” he said in remarks posted on the interior ministry’s Twitter account.

The young man who identified himself said that he had been incited to engage in acts of violence and to kill policemen by two religious leaders.

The detainee, who was not wearing a shirt, reportedly admitted that he had been given money for acts of sabotage.

The footage was reportedly taken using a mobile phone and was not seemingly carried out in the interrogation rooms where video cameras have been installed to record quizzing sessions.

The interior ministry has since the publication in November 2011 of a searing report by an international fact-finding panel pledged to take action against any policeman found guilty of abusing the system.

The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), established by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, to look into the events that occurred in the country in February and March 2011, pinpointed in its report the deficiencies in the interior ministry.

King Hamad accepted the report and all ministries pledged to implement its recommendations.

The interior ministry launched a massive overhaul operation with international assistance, mainly from the US and Britain, “to achieve security for the state and its citizens within the framework of the law”, change the mindset and culture of its officers and introduce more human rights-compliant procedures

An ombudsman’s office was set up last year to look into grievances by Bahrainis, expatriates and visitors into alleged offences by police.

A royal amendment of the decree in May gave the office more powers to investigate cases.

A Police Community Service was boosted by the integration of more Bahrainis from the country’s five governorates and a code of conduct that required the police to adhere fully to the principles of human rights and freedom for all citizens was issued last year.

The code obliges officers to abide by 10 principles, including the limited use of force and a policy of zero tolerance towards torture and mistreatment.

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