Manama: A court in Bahrain on Sunday jailed six police officers for up to five years after convicting them of torturing inmates, one of whom died, Abdullah Hamza, the head of the Special Investigation Unit said.

The inmates were tortured in a bid to force them to admit to smuggling and possession of drugs.

Three men — a drug rehabilitation lecturer and two officers at the anti-narcotics unit — were sentenced to five years.

One defendant, an officer, was handed a three-year sentence and two other defendants, also officers, were sentenced to one year each in jail.

The case was brought to the attention of the Special Investigation Unit on June 6 last year when the Reform and Rehabilitation Centre reported the death of an inmate.

Investigators concluded after listening to witnesses and based on the evidence collected by forensics teams that the rehabilitation lecturer became suspicious about items to be handed to an inmate by his brother.

An inspection revealed that the items contained drugs and the lecturer informed the authorities who dispatched an officer and a security guard to look into the case, the advocate general said in a statement carried by Bahrain News Agency (BNA).

The three men beat up the inmate who had asked for the items as well as two other detainees suspected of being involved in the drug smuggling scheme. The inmate eventually died from the beating.

The investigation revealed that three officers from the Reform and Rehabilitation Centre were aware of the beating and that they detained a man contrary to standard procedures.

The two other inmates suffered emotional trauma and needed special treatment, a doctor said.

The advocate general said the case was referred to the public prosecution and that the suspects were charged with torture leading to death, accepting acts of torture, incarcerating a man contrary to standard procedures and public insults.