Bahrain To Try 5 Police Officers For Torture
Five police officers will be put on trial in connection with the alleged torture of a detainee who later died in custody, the country’s Information Affairs Authority said Friday.
The country’s top prosecutor, Nawaf Hamza, said in a statement that two unnamed officers have been charged with torture and mistreatment and three others with negligence for failure to report the incident.
No details were provided about the five officers or the detainee. There were also no details about when and where the alleged torture took place.
The prosecution of the officers follows promises by Bahrain to address shortcomings highlighted in a scathing report on rights abuses in weeks of anti-government protests in the Gulf nation earlier this year.
A special commission authorized by Bahrain’s Sunni rulers last month outlined the harsh treatment of anti-government protesters as state security forces tried to put down the largest of the uprisings to hit the Gulf. The 500-page report documented the use of torture, excessive force and fast-track trials by the government.
Earlier Thursday, Hamza said the Gulf kingdom has wrapped up an investigation into an alleged Iranian-linked terror cell and plans to put the eight suspects on trial next month.
Hamza said the unnamed suspects will be tried in the island nation’s High Criminal Court on charges of espionage and of having ties to an outlawed group that uses terrorism to achieve its goals.
Bahraini authorities in November accused the group of having links to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard and planning attacks against high profile sites, including the Saudi Embassy and a Gulf causeway linking Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. Iran rejects the allegations.
Court hearings are to begin in early January.