Interior Minister Reaffirms Commitment to Royal Directives Regarding BICI Recommendations

Manama-Nov28 (BNA) Interior Minister Lieutenant-General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa today reaffirmed commitment to the high Royal directives related to the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report and its recommendations. He said that after the BICI submitted its report to His Majesty the King and HM the King's directives to implement the recommendations, a work team was established at the Ministry of Interior to carefully study the report and prepare a mechanism to implement the recommendations through a comprehensive action plan that aims to develop police work and security performance in accordance with international criteria.
He announced that a series of reform procedures and steps would be adopted by the Ministry to enhance police work and create a balance between the role of the police in protecting security and stability and safeguarding lives and properties and the ministry's overriding duty to respect human rights and basic freedoms. He also revealed that the was in the final stages to sign contracts with a number of highly qualified experts and specialists from the United States of America and United Kingdom to assist in developing police work during the next phase. There would also be cooperation with international organizations to develop training curricula and the preparation of the ministry's personnel. The assistance of international centres specializing in human rights, in addition to the International Red Cross, would be sought to benefit from their expertise in developing police work in term of arrest and detention procedures, dealing with protesters, and ensuring accountability according to human rights principles. This will lead to the drafting of a Code of Conduct for police work that would include details on how a policeman should perform his duties according to international and local legal criteria and rules. Those rules should be followed by all policemen assigned to enforce law. The minister highlighted that some of the main steps that would be implemented are the reorganization of some bodies of the Ministry and the adaptation of the necessary legal and administrative procedures to directly link the supervisory system of the Ministry to the Minister, as well as work to develop and modernize the system through ensuring staff have judiciary qualifications as well as hiring specialized judges that are only assigned to judicial work in order to ensure more neutrality and independence to perform required duties and maintain justice through fast rulings with commitment to judicial rules. Lt. General Shaikh Rashid Minister said that the drafting of a law to amend the specialties of police courts at the Ministry are being reviewed to limit their responsibilities to disciplinary offenses only. He also confirmed the commencement of a study to draft the required legislations to guarantee visual and audio recording for all official questioning of detainees. He concluded by affirming the importance of role of policemen in protecting the nation's security and stability, while highlighting the sacrifices they have provided in the last phase to confront the difficult situations that the country went through. He said that the police's preformed role is in the heart of all Bahrainis who felt secure and safe. This doesn't mean that excesses didn't occur, in which the mentioned procedures would prevent in the future.