Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) stated that the UK continues to provide a package of technical assistance, including training to the police and security services in Bahrain, within the framework of his support for the reform programs being carried out by the Bahraini government.
In response to a question, the FCO added that "this package includes two projects, centred on sharing best practice in line with international standards on neighbourhood policing and creating awareness of international best practice and providing an introduction to human rights to support recruits who are going to be prison officers. All projects have an accompanying Overseas Security and Justice Assistance (OSJA) instrument in place."
The FCO; however, stressed that some of the information within the scope of the request is exempt under Section 26 (1) (b) which allows for the withholding of information if it is likely to prejudice the operational effectiveness of Armed Forces of the Crown or any armed forces with whom they are working.
"In this case this refers to the arrangements for co-operation and training between the UK Armed Forces and the Government of Bahrain," it further stated, adding that releasing the information could risk "the success of military operations and the security of our troops. In this case it was judged that the potential risks associated with releasing the information outweighed the benefits."
The FCO's response was to an email sent on March 3, 2015, asking for information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) 2000: "Please confirm whether the UK Government currently provides training or any other form of assistance to the military, police and/or security services in Bahrain and if so, please supply the details of this assistance including its nature, form and purpose. Please confirm whether the UK Government has entered into any agreements to provide training in the future to the military, police and/or security services in Bahrain and if so, the details of these agreements."