As part of the British Foreign Office’s 2014 Annual Human Rights Report, a Bahrain Case Study has been issued, which acknowledges “incremental steps” to implement the Bahrain Government’s human rights and political reform agenda. Here are some of the key quotes from this case study:


“The UK, along with other members of the international community, was disappointed by the decision of the main opposition societies to boycott the elections and to call for their supporters not to vote. This followed the breakdown of the political dialogue with the government of Bahrain. The election period saw acts of intimidation against candidates and voters and a spike in violence. However, overall, we judge the process to have been transparent.”

Awards for the Ombudsman & NIHR

“In December, the Ministry of Interior’s Ombudsman and the NIHR received the EU Chaillot award for the Gulf region in recognition of progress made on promoting human rights.”

Police accountability

“The government of Bahrain continued its efforts to strengthen police accountability and build oversight mechanisms across the criminal justice system. The Ministry of Interior’s Ombudsman’s Office, the Prisoners’ and Detainees’ Rights Commission, and the National Institute of Human Rights (NIHR) released their inaugural reports this year. Some progress has been made in implementing their recommendations.”

UK assistance

“The UK will continue to support the government of Bahrain in implementing its human rights and political reform programme through the provision of technical assistance, training, and best practice sharing. This will include support on reforms of the youth justice system, and court administration and further capacity building for key institutions such as the Ombudsman’s office.”

Training of Bahraini personnel

“A Bahraini delegation carried out a study visit to Northern Ireland to learn about the juvenile justice system. SIU staff members also attended training sessions in the UK on forensic evidence, interviewing skills, and the rights of suspected persons.”

Investigation of security officials

“Ombudsman’s Office figures in July 2014 showed that 14 officers had been charged with human rights violations. Of those, 12 are facing trial, one received a six-month sentence, and another faced disciplinary action.” 

“In November, we registered concern at the death of an inmate at Bahrain’s Reformation and Rehabilitation Centre. An investigation by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU) led to six members of staff, including three high-ranking officers.” 

“The SIU investigated video footage showing a person being assaulted in a police car, and charged the police officer in question. The SIU also probed nine cases of alleged torture and four cases of alleged mistreatment”. 

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