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Fri 2 Dec 2011 01:11 PM

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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

Bahrain to hire ex-US police chief for reforms
A flashback to the Bahrain uprisings in March
Bahrain to hire ex-US police chief for reforms
Flashback to the Bahrain uprisings in February
Bahrain to hire ex-US police chief for reforms
Flashback to the Bahrain uprisings in February
Bahrain to hire ex-US police chief for reforms
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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Yousif 8 years ago

This just shows that the Bahraini government is only trying to please the west and remain in power while real effective reforms are ignored. Hiring an external expert will not solve the core problems in the kingdom. He will have either one of two options, maintain martial law and tarnish his reputation forever, or resign from his new position after realizing the problem is with his new superiors.

Mohammed 8 years ago

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.

Khalil 8 years ago

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

We Are The People 8 years ago

How misinformed are you, this is the right thing to do; bringing a good talent from outside the box will help in establishing the right policies that will protect the rights of all. Miami, Florida has probably the most diverse population mix in the US, from the Latinos of Cuba, Central and South America, the White and African American, Middle Eastern and Asians and the highest population of retirees residing anywhere in the US. This former Chief of Police had to deal with it all, he had to deal with issues related to aggravated crime, building ties between law enforcement and a diverse communities, dealing with state, county and city politicians and keeping the peace in a state where carrying a canceled weapon is legal. John Timoney is a professional and a fixer, he is what Bahrain needs. If this is not reform then I do not know what is.

Nasreen 8 years ago

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.

Adam Ali Rothstein 8 years ago

"As usual, 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. "

You're so right! Keep the majority Shias out of the army and deny them government and private sector jobs. Torture those pesky cry-babies.

Who needs minorities when we know we're 100% right?

keenObzerver 8 years ago

@ 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.

mohammed sharbatly 8 years ago

to adam....Yes....no 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.

Vicky 8 years ago

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.

I am a Sunni 8 years ago

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.