The Special Investigation Unit in Bahrain referred 13 security men to martial courts for trials and punitive verdicts under the Bahraini Penal Code after receiving 31 complaints from prison and detention facilities, including allegations of the officers having inflicted torture and abuse.
The Special Investigation Unit is a watchdog overlooking the performance of security services. It also regulates detention facilities and investigates allegations made by inmates against prison and security guards.
During last four months of 2017, the Unit received 31 complaints, including allegations of torture and ill-treatment by members of the General Security Forces. The unit immediately launched a comprehensive probe tackling rising complaints.
More so, a designated commission heard the testimony of 59 complainants and 65 witnesses, 53 of the members of the General Security Forces were questioned, four of the complainants were referred to the unit's forensic doctor and two were referred to the psychiatrist.
In that time, the Unit completed the investigations into physical abuse allegations made by a group of inmates in the Department of Reform and Rehabilitation by some police officers during the security forces' attempt to control a large riot.
Inmates during the prison riot have assaulted and resisted police officers and went on to murder one. It ended with the transfer of 13 accused members of the General Security Forces to the relevant criminal court and requested that they be charged with assault on inmates under the Penal Code.
"Based on the authority granted to the unit, another case related to two members of the General Security Forces was referred to the military court's department at the Interior Ministry for the signing of appropriate disciplinary punishment for violations and irregularities that did not amount to criminal prosecution," head of the Special Investigation Unit said.