Bahrain to hire ex-US police chief for reforms

Gov't says it plans to appoint former Miami Police chief to help with law enforcement

A flashback to the Bahrain uprisings in March

A flashback to the Bahrain uprisings in March

Bahrain plans to hire a former police chief in the US state of Florida to help with reforms of its law enforcement procedures after an independent inquiry found evidence of systematic rights abuses during a crackdown on pro-democracy protests this year.

"(John) Timoney was chief of the Miami Police for seven years, where among his many accomplishments were the successful reduction of crime and the implementation of proper practices for the use of force," Bahrain's government said in a statement.

Bahrain has said that the interior ministry was in the process of hiring US and British security experts to help police protect rights and freedoms while enforcing order.

The Gulf Arab state has said a code of conduct would be developed for police, as it faces frequent protests by majority Shi'ite Muslims against the Sunni-led government.

Bahrain has said it will comply with the findings of the inquiry, headed by international rights experts, and is under pressure from its ally the United States to show improvements in its rights record to secure an arms sale.

The inquiry was set up after Bahrain faced international criticism for imposing martial law during a crackdown on protests, in which it called in Saudi and United Arab Emirates forces for help.

Rights activists have said senior figures should be sacked over the abuses listed in the inquiry's report, which appeared to have been more hard-hitting than some in government expected.

It said torture was used to extract confessions that were used to convict hundreds of people in military courts, mainly Shi'ites. It described the abuse as "systematic", and said some 3,000 people were detained and 2,000 sacked from state jobs.

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Posted by: I am a Sunni

Will the former police chief of Florida be given the freedom to act based on what he sees right. His experience was in a democratic country and he is going to an autocratic government. I think the former police chief experience would be beneficial once Bahrain is democratic.

Posted by: Vicky

However, I bet Mr.Timoney's didn't test his success against a monarchic structure and spin-as-you-go regulatory structure. Despite all its diversity, Miami has a set of universal law enforcement system. Mr.Timoney will have to find out if he gets the space to float fresh ideas and tweak decades old mind set in Bahrain. Otherwise, the inspirational move might turn out to be a cosmetic exercise.

Posted by: Nasreen

It still amazes me how the media is still using the shia majorty story "protests by majority Shi'ite Muslims against the Sunni-led government." when in reality it has been cleared a number of times that this is not the case and there are no official statistics on it.

Posted by: Khalil

Yousif, you are wrong ! newly hired US officers will realise that people like you are not thankful at all no matter what the government does for you !!

Bahrain will do its best to protect its people and the country in the best interest for the future of Bahrain. These guys will never be thankful as all they want is violence and riots !

We shall focus in the betterment of the country with or without trouble makers

Posted by: Mohammed

This shows the concern and good will of Bahrain and begin implementing reforms.

Asusual, Bahrain will do everything in the interests of its people as they have done in the past but still some thankless crying babies will never cease to cry, no matter what good the country might do for them.

There is saying that these crying babies in Bahrain must know "DONOT ASK WHAT COUNTRY HAS GIVEN TO YOU, BUT ASK YOURSELVES WHAT YOU HAVE GIVEN TO YOUR COUNTRY"

In last few months, these crying babies have tarnished the Bahrain's reputation by spreading lies, disturbed peace in this lovely country, brought economy down by creating havoc/riots, and they are so blind to understand that in the long run, it is going to effect all of us in Bahrain.

Posted by: Adam Ali Rothstein


Your logic is the same as, "All the other kids are doing it, so why can't we?" Just because others do it doesn't make it right.

I "single out" Bahrain because the subject under discussion is Bahrain, not any other country.

Posted by: Berational

Adam, name one country that does not discriminate among people in public sector jobs. Some do it for power, some racism, some religious, etc. So why single out Bahrain it it does. Autocratic governments do it openly, democracies find other ways (corruption, etc). Discrimination is everywhere, you need not go thousands of miles away to Bahrain to prove it, you can see it in your backyard, if you have the eyes to "see" it.

Posted by: Adam Ali Rothstein


The Bahrain government has discriminatory policies, plain and simple. You say it yourself when you say, "I have to agree that Shias have limited access to army and police jobs."

And it "imports" Sunnis, not just for the police but for the local population, to change the demographic balance against Shias. That is why it is so open to giving citizenship to Sunnis from Pakistan, etc.

@mohammed sharbatly
"Being a national of the country doesnt qualify everyone to become a military or a police officer. "

That is called discrimination, in this case, against the Shias.

Posted by: mohammed sharbatly

to big deal. Profiling of people is a state and government right. Speciality when hiring people in Military and security forces.

Being a national of the country doesnt qualify everyone to become a military or a police officer.

Posted by: keenObzerver

@ Adam Rothstein
Obviously you think you are 100% right.

Shias have full access to high ranking Govt jobs and before the riots held positions including; Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Health, etc..
They had the majority seats of the elected parliament before quitting en masse.
They dominate the private sector, practically control the economy, an overwhelming number of leading businesses are owned and run by Shias.
Bahrain shias are not a single community, some are Arab, and others are Persian, and have historically mixed loyalties. Imagine how these riots would have been if the rioters were armed with police/army weapons ?
I have to agree that Shias have limited access to army and police jobs.
Bahrain police is dominated by expats, not even local Sunnis.
However the Goct has been recently open to increased local recruitment, with many shias working in community police programs.
Almost all the people i know in Bahrain support the Govt and the recent reforms.

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