Special Investigation Unit and Ombudsman: Whitewashing of Crimes

2021-03-16 - 4:19 am

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Dictatorial regimes have two characteristics; brutality and whitewashing. We can say that the Bahraini regime is an expert in these two fields. While the police in Bahrain use brutal torture, other institutions master the art of whitewashing serious cases and covering up crimes.

In order to tamper with facts and whitewash human rights cases, the regime has formed several government bodies. The regime has designed, with British assistance, two institutions for this purpose; the first is the Special Investigation Unit, affiliated with the Public Prosecution, and the second is the Ombudsman's office, linked to the Interior Ministry.

Following the European Parliament's resolution which condemned a wide range of violations committed in Bahrain, the Special Investigation Unit and Ombudsman were quick to issue separate statements in which they expressed their readiness to "follow the case of torture of prisoners as well as the torture of four detained children and the rape threat they were subjected to."

It is known that when a complaint is brought against the Interior Ministry and other apparatuses, these two institutions carry out investigations. However, the end result is always guaranteed; they acquit the authorities, mitigate or justify the crime they [the authorities] commit.

People following the Bahraini files are aware that the aim of these institutions is to whitewash crimes.

The European Parliament resolution said that the SIU and Ombudsman "have a passive role".

According to the Europeans, this negative role or covering up of crimes clearly appear through hiding the repeated crimes suffered by detainees Rayhana Al-Moussawi, Ibtisam Al-Saegh and Najah Al-Sheikh. These institutions investigated the case of Rayhana Al-Mossawi, but that led to nothing.

Dozens of martyrs, including children such as Ali Al-Sheikh, Ali Baddah and others were killed. The perpetrators were not held accountable, however, after their cases were closed, the authorities devoted themselves to retaliate against the parents of the martyrs who continued to demand justice from those involved in the killing of their children.

In fact, these organizations have failed to mislead the world view. Working on protecting the rights of prisoners does not require a European decision. The show of willingness to investigate what was stated in that resolution is nothing but a miserable new attempt to hide the facts.

The counties of the world may turn a blind eye to these violations to protect their interests, yet they are not stupid or blind. They can figure out that the political and human rights situation in Bahrain needs immediate reform through clear procedures without manipulation or whitewashing.


1.       On February 27, 2012, the Public Prosecutor issued decision 8/2012 establishing the Special Investigation Unit to work under thevleadership of the Public Prosecutor, assisted by seven full-time investigators from the prosecution, supported by forensic and physical evidence experts.

2.       The Ombudsman was established in accordance with Royal Decree 27/2012 and its amendments to Royal Decree 35/2013, specialized in receiving any verbal or written complaint from any person who claims to be harassed by any member of the Public Security Forces on the occasion, during or because of their exercise of their duty.

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