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27-03-2012 - Gulfnews

Bahrain police stations to be fitted with cameras to curb abuse

Bahrain has announced it is installing video cameras in police stations.

At Al Hoora station in Manama, closed circuit television will record police interrogations in rooms with padded grey walls. Rooms without cameras are set aside for detainees to consult lawyers. Other areas of the station are also monitored.

"We chose the colour grey because it's an international standard and it calms people. Anyone in a state of violence has to be calmed down," said Brigadier Mansour Al Hajiri, a police officer.

He said seven other stations were now being fitted with the monitoring system and all 33 stations would be covered by October.

But the cameras, introduced after an inquiry led by international jurists uncovered five deaths under torture last year, will not be installed in at least five riot police bases where activists say youths have been beaten.

"They don't detain anyone, any arrests will be handed over to police," police chief Tarek Al Hassan said when about the absence of cameras in the bases from where riot police using jeeps and armoured vehicles move to handle protests.

Bahraini rights activists list three informal detention centres where youths are beaten up by riot police before release, while others are beaten in the street.

"More than 160 people have been beaten in these places," said Mohammad Al Maskati, head of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, naming one site as a youth hostel in Sanabis which police acknowledge has been transformed into a riot police base.

 

Other sources on GCC civil society and human rights