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Bahrain: Prosecution to look into officers’ acquittal case

Court clears defendants for lack of evidence

Gulf News

Manama: Bahrain’s public prosecution said that it would study a court ruling clearing two officers of allegedly torturing medics arrested following the unrest in 2011.

“The public prosecution will look into the case and will study the reasons that led the court to acquit them,” Nawaf Hamza, the public prosecutor, said. “We will appeal against the ruling if there are legal and objective grounds to do it,” he said hours after the High Criminal Court said that the two officers were not guilty.

The court explained its decision following an eight-month trial by the lack of evidence implicating the two officers and by the contradictory statements made by the alleged victims.

The male officer was put on trial for allegedly abusing four male medics while the female officer was accused of mistreating two female medics.

The officers’ lawyers stressed in their pleadings the inconsistencies in the testimonies submitted by the alleged victims and pushed for their acquittal.

The torture case has mobilised Bahrainis months after the country was rocked by the dramatic events and incidents that unfolded in the country in February and March 2011.

For the opposition, the medics “were innocent of any wrongdoing and were just performing their jobs” when they were arrested and subjected to abuses by the officers who interrogated them.

However, those who supported the officers have been arguing that they helped bring restore normalcy in the country in times of chaos. They said that the claims of torture were not true and that the police forces were being targeted by several local and international sides.

In a statement on the ruling, Al Wefaq, the leading opposition society, said that it abused the rights of Bahraini citizens.

However, Al Asala, the expression of Salafism in Bahrin, hailed the prevalence of justice in the country and hailed the officers for their acquittal.

The interior ministry has pledged to take to justice any officer found guilty of misusing their power or abusing detainees or demonstrators.