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Bahrain to set up CCTV in interview rooms

Manama, March 21, 2012

Closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras are set to be installed in police interrogation rooms across Bahrain in a bid to prevent human rights violations.

They will also be used to expose false allegations made against officers, said Public Security chief Major-General Tariq Al Hassan.

The high-tech equipment will also be installed at the Public Prosecution within two months.

"The video and audio recording in interview rooms will be installed by August and that would help in investigating alleged cases of mistreatment," he said during a Press conference yesterday to announce the progress of recommendations included in last year's Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report.

Miami supercop John Timoney and Interior Ministry assistant under-secretary for legal affairs Brigadier Mohammed Rashid Bu Hamood were also present at the event held at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa.

Major-General Al Hassan discussed the establishment of an Internal Affairs Department and an independent ombudsman at the ministry to improve transparency and accountability.

"We have agreed on a memorandum of understanding with the International Committee for the Red Cross to access detention facilities to inspect them," he said.

He said the ministry did not have a new policy for authorised protests, adding rallies are approved based on threat assessment, road blockage and other factors.

Progress has also been made in recruiting policemen and women from all sectors of society.

"The process of recruitment of 500 police personnel from all sects is still going on," said Major-General Al Hassan.

Meanwhile, Mr Timoney said investigations were underway into allegations that suspects were tortured in secret locations before being taken to police stations.

"We have received complaints from human rights groups that some people were taken to a secret location before the police station," he said.

"Allegations of excessive use of tear gas are also being examined."

"Some police stations are under siege like Sitra. In case a person is injured he should be taken to the hospital and if not the nearest police station."

Mr Timoney, who is an adviser to the ministry, said security forces had shown "restraint" following the unrest.

"There need to be a difference between mass protests (authorised or not) and acts of vandalism where Molotov cocktails are used night after night," he said.

"Police vehicles are damaged and some policemen seriously injured by these acts of assault and vandalism, which cannot be protests.

"These young men are angry and take their frustration out by throwing dozens of Molotov cocktails at different sites."

He said an international human rights expert will fly in next week to train Royal Academy of Police trainers.

He also spoke about the new Code of Conduct for police that is based on international policing codes and an arrest protocol that does not violate human rights. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | CCTV | Human rights | Police | interrogation |

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