Bahrain police officers jailed for torturing detainee to death
A Bahraini Shiite Muslim woman takes part in an anti-government protest on Thursday. (AFP PHOTO/MOHAMMED AL-SHAIKH)
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A Bahraini court on Sunday sentenced two police officers to seven years in prison for their role in the torture of a man that resulted in his death.
Abdul Kareem Fakhrawi was pronounced dead on April 12, nine days after he was arrested, according to the report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) formed by King Hamad Bin Eisa Al Khalifa in June 2011 to look into the events that hit Bahrain in February and March that year and their consequences.
In its report released in November last year following a four-month field investigation, the BICI said that it had “received information that the deceased was a businessman and founder of Bahrain’s first educational bookstore that had expanded into a publishing house”.
“On the evening of April 2, 2011, the deceased was visiting a relative in Karbabad. At approximately 23:30, police surrounded his relative’s home. The deceased presented himself at the police station the following morning in order to resolve the matter,” the report said.
His family was informed of his death on April 12, the BICI said.
Bahrain’s interior ministry has pledged to comply with the recommendations issued by the BICI with the help of security experts with British and US experience and to hold all security men involved in human rights abuses accountable.
Last week, Shaikh Rashid Bin Adbullah Al Khalifa, the interior minister, condemned the slapping of a Bahraini citizen by a security man.
“Such acts do not reflect the disciplined approach and the level of commitment that we always strive to enforce and achieve,” Shaikh Rashid said. “They also undermine the genuine role of the security men who perform their work around the clock in order to reinforce security and ensure the safety of all Bahraini citizens and residents.”
The minister said that the ministry did not allow abuses and held violators fully accountable for their acts.
“We stress that we do seek to promote community partnership and to strengthen confidence-building between the police and the society, given their significance in achieving civil peace,” the minister said.
The interior ministry has hired British and US experts to help instil a more human rights based culture following the BICI report.