Recommendation 1722 (a)

To conduct effective investigations in accordance with the Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-Legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions of all the deaths that have been attributed to the security forces. Likewise, all allegations of torture and similar treatment be investigated by an independent and impartial body, following the Istanbul Principles. The investigation of both types of alleged violation should be capable of leading to the prosecution of the implicated individuals, both direct and at all levels of responsibility, with a view to ensuring that punishment be consistent with the gravity of the offence.

Status

The government proposes that the Attorney General will fulfill the role of the "independent, impartial body." However, this is doubtful, given the serious questions about the impartiality of the Public Prosecution (headed by the Attorney General). The Public Prosecution continues to conduct investigations and prosecutions (based on ineffective investigations) of low-level police for alleged crimes that are far more serious than the charges against them. In a recent case on 23 March, the Public Prosecution produced an investigation accusing an alleged victim of government abuse of faking his wounds. See recommendation 1716 for more details.

The government proposes that prosecutors will be trained by ISISC, a non-profit founded and currently chaired by M. Cherif Bassiouni, the Chair of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. In October 2011, opposition electronic newspaper Bahrain Mirror reported the existence of a contract between ISISC and the Bahraini government. The contract was allegedly already signed, or due to be signed shortly after the report's publication on 23 November 2011. This constitutes an appearance of conflict of interest.

Government Claim

(source: www.govactions.bh on 3/3/2012)

The External Legal Experts have advised that the AG can fulfil the role of the .independent and impartial body., provided there is sufficient training on conducting effective investigations. To that end GoB has agreed an extensive programme of training for prosecutors with the International Institute of Higher Studies in Criminal Sciences (ISISC), based on Syracusa (more details below in recommendation 1722(f)); the programme will be delivered by an experienced Arab speaking faculty, with examples drawn from BICI.

Recommendation 1722 (a)
Conduct effective investigations of all deaths attributed to security forces, and all allegations of torture and similar mistreatment
Status: Violated
Government claim: Implemented

Summary:

  • Violation Investigations continuing within the existing biased framework
  • Violation Only a small number of low-ranking police are being prosecuted, and the alleged crimes are far more serious than the charges
  • Background Bassiouni is the founder and president of the non-profit contracted to train prosecutors; the existence of a contract was reported before the BICI report's publication