International human rights organization, Reprieve, recently published a report shedding light on a British program to train Bahraini police on how to “whitewash” detainee deaths in custody.
According to Reprieve, Bahrain’s police received UK training on how to tell bereaved families that officers will not be prosecuted after a loved one has died in custody. Reprieve added that this training was part of a multimillion-pound Foreign Office aid program with the Gulf kingdom of Bahrain, whose security forces use torture and death sentences.
The Bahraini German Organization for Human Rights and Democracy (BGO) condemns the establishment of such morally reprehensible programs between the United Kingdom, and a country such as Bahrain, which has an appalling record of human rights violations. Such programs undermine international charters and human rights agreements since they allow the Bahraini authorities to violate human rights while providing them with the necessary “training” to escape accountability and ensure impunity.
Furthermore, the Bahrain German Organization finds that instituting such programs puts in question the United Kingdom’s commitment to protecting human rights under international law. The United Kingdom should use its stature in the international community to promote human rights in Bahrain, as opposed to signing agreements and instituting programs with the Bahraini government that encourage and directly contribute to an increase of violations, and allow the Bahraini authorities to evade their responsibility and commitments under international law to protect human rights.