Progress & Actions
The team comprising Sir Daniel Bethlehem QC, Sir Jeffrey Jowell QC, Professor Adnan Amkhan, Professor Sarah Cleveland and David Perry QC (External Legal Experts) provided their advice on implementing this recommendation through the establishment of a special unit within public prosecution that is dedicated to the task of determining accountability (Special Investigations Unit). The features of this Unit would be as follows:
- It would be led by a senior public prosecutor.
- It will be supplemented by experienced and independent criminal investigators and forensic experts.
- The Unit will have available to it a newly created senior independent investigations counsellor (appointed by the Supreme Judicial Council), experienced in prosecuting and investigating crimes; this person will also be familiar with international standards on human rights investigations.
- Guidance will also be provided to this Unit on how to apply the principle on Superior Responsibility, which is already part of Bahraini law
The recommendations have been accepted and on 28 February 2012 the Attorney General issued his decision (drafted with the External Legal Experts) for the Special Investigations Unit.
In parallel, the public prosecutor continues to investigate any unlawful acts resulting in deaths, torture and mistreatment with a view to commencing legal and disciplinary actions. There is an important update in this regard, since the publication of the BICI Report. At the time of writing, the public prosecutor is pursuing 107 cases of deaths, torture and mistreatment of civilians, so far involving 48 officers (as the investigations progress more officers may become implicated). This is an increase on the number of prosecutions at the time of the BICI Report (20).