Bahrain's Interior Minister Shaikh Rashid Bin Abdullah Al Khalifa kisses the head of a policeman injured during the unrest. Image Credit: Bahrain News Agency

Manama Seven Bahrain police officers have been charged in connection with claims of mistreatment and torture against medical staff detained during last year’s unrest.

All the accused are lieutenants in the Ministry of Interior. Two officers were referred to the High Criminal Courts and the remaining five will appear before the Lower Criminal Court.

The charges were levelled following a public prosecution investigation of 14 complainants, five witnesses and 17 accused officers.

The allegations that included using force to obtain confessions of crimes, misdemeanor assault and slander are punishable under Bahrain’s Penal Code.

The two officers facing the most serious allegation are charged with the use of torture and threats against six medical detainees with the purpose of forcing a confession. However, all the confessions obtained under such circumstances were thrown out in the medical staff’s trial.

The hearing is scheduled for October 1.

Nawaf Hamza, the head of the Public Prosecution Special Investigation Unit (SIU), said that the remaining 10 accused officers are being investigated.

Bahrain said that the government “continues to reinforce its commitment to fulfilling the recommendations by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) in assigning accountability and promoting the independence of the judiciary system”.

The BICI, a panel of international experts, was set up in June last year to look into the unrest that hit the country in February and March and its consequences.

A searing report was published in November and the government said that it was committed to applying its recommendations.