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UK Police Refuse to Disclose Cost of New Deal to Train Bahraini Police, Says It's Confidential Information, Vice Website

2018-07-30 - 8:04 p

Bahrain Mirror: "Vice" website revealed on Friday (July 27, 2018) that earlier this month, members of Durham Constabulary travelled to Bahrain and signed a deal to deliver training to Bahraini officers. The cost of the agreement is confidential, a senior official in Durham Police reported.

Durham police said that the training will enhance officers' use of evidence in their investigations. "Vice" website commented saying that British police are still training cops in authoritarian regimes and deluding themselves that by imparting their wisdom they will prevent human rights abuses.

Pictured among the smiling bobbies is Brigadier Fawaz Hassan Al-Hassan, a Bahraini police officer who has trained in the UK. He is ultimately in charge of Muharraq police station, where activists say they have been electrocuted and sexually assaulted during interrogations.

Vice has already published a detailed report about training courses Brigadier Al-Hassan received in Britain, before being promoted to be the most senior police officer in Muharraq, which has become a headquarter for the intelligence since last year. Dozens of activists have been summoned for investigation at Muharraq Police Directorate and only left after severe meals of torture.


Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg said, the training "will enhance officers' use of evidence to ensure that offenders are prosecuted and brought to justice, and also to enable those wrongly accused to be effectively acquitted."

Hogg said the training deal was "developed at the request of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to support wider British aims in the region" and approved by senior ministers. "The agreement will help to promote human rights in Bahrain by improving the quality of evidence which is used by the police and prosecutors."

He added that it "included a clause in the contract which ensures that British Policing's Code of Ethics applies in the delivery of the contract, and which enables Durham Constabulary to withdraw if the required standards in this respect are not being met." Hogg has refused to say how much the deal is worth - his spokesman said. But Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary has said that Durham's links with Bahrain "may prove to be lucrative".

"Yet again we see another British police force rushing into working with a regime that has a very poor record on upholding human rights," said Lord Scriven, a Lib Dem peer.

He stressed that "Durham Police need to question not just the reason why they are doing this, but how they can guarantee that the methods and techniques they are giving to the Bahrain Police force won't be used to further erode human rights."

"It beggars belief that the UK government and security and police services are running for business without putting human rights central to if they engage," the Lord expressed.

The Durham delegation even popped into Muharraq police station on the visit, where they "praised" the local police for "gaining the trust of the community" - according to a statement by the Bahraini authorities.

The deal makes Durham the third UK police force in four years to make money from training Bahrain, according to "Vice" website.

The UK delegation also visited Bahrain's CID headquarters, where they toured a number of departments.

The website pointed out that Bahrain's CID building has been repeatedly named as a torture site by human rights groups

They didn't bother to mention it, but Bahrain's CID building is repeatedly named as a torture site by human rights groups, highlighting that in 2014, school teacher Abbas Al-Samea was allegedly electrocuted in the genitals and suspended from the ceiling at the CID building. It added that a UN expert described his execution in 2017 as an "extrajudicial killing" based on "torture, unfair trial and flimsy evidence".

Sayed Al-Wadaei, advocacy director at the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy in London, said his relatives were beaten at the CID building last year and coerced into making false confessions.

"Bahrain does not lack forensic techniques to put people behind bars," Al-Wadaei said. "In my family's case the forensics should have cleared them, but they resorted to false confessions to convict them."

He stated "The job of Bahrain's police is to silence dissent by any means necessary."

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