On 2 September 2015, Judge Mohammed Bin Ali al-Khalifa, head judge of the Bahraini High Criminal Court, acquitted 5 police officers who had been temporarily suspended for beating a man during his arrest. The man in question was being arrested on suspicion of drug possession, but was beaten by the police officers in order to reportedly coerce his confession. The beatings led to permanent injury, including tissue damage in two fingers.
The Special Investigation Unit charged with investigating the truth of the claims against the five officers reported that the injuries were in fact inflicted by the police during the victim’s arrest, and that the damage, both physical and mental, would be long-lasting. The policemen in question are currently awaiting another trial for the same charges of violently forcing a confession during an arrest.
Accusations of police torture is nothing new in Bahrain. This case is the latest in a series of instances of police using torture to obtain a confession with impunity in Bahrain. In December 2013, another Bahraini court acquitted two police officers who were accused of torturing medics while in police custody for aiding injured protestors.