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Public Security Forces

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Public Security Forces

Public Security Forces

قوات الأمن العام
Agency overview
Formed 1971
Preceding Agency Bahrain Police
Jurisdiction Government of Bahrain
Headquarters Diwan Fort, Manama
Minister responsible Rashid bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, Minister of Interior
Agency executive Tariq Al Hasan, Chief of Public Security
Parent agency Ministry of Interior (Bahrain)
Key document Decree Law No. 3 of the Year 1982 on the System of the Public Security Forces
Website .bh.gov.policemcwww

The Public Security Forces (PSF), formerly known as the Bahrain State Police, are the principal Bahraini law enforcement arm of the Ministry of Interior. They are commanded by Maj. Gen. Tarek Al Hasan and include all Ministry of Interior field units responsible for maintaining order and security in Bahrain.[1](p52)

History

The Bahrain Police Directorate was first established in 1961 to address internal security, and was headed by Shaikh Mohammed ibn Salman Al Khalifa. At the time of Bahrain's independence from Britain in 1971, the name of the Directorate was changed to the Ministry of Interior, and the State Police was renamed as Public Security Forces.[2]

Departments

The following units and departments are among those that report directly to the PSF command:

  • The police departments of five of the governorates of Bahrain (Manama, Muharraq, Shamaliyah, Janabiyah and Wusta).
  • The Special Forces Department.
  • The Special Protections Department.
  • The Counter Terrorism Centre.
  • The General Directorate of Guards.
  • The Traffic Police.
  • The Operations Department.
  • The Coast Guard.

Role during 2011–present uprising

Members of the PSF were the law enforcement officers most often involved in crowd control, and thus in direct clashes with protesters, during the Bahraini uprising. According to a Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report issued in November 2011, they were equipped with "body armour, shields, batons, sound bombs, tear gas and shotguns." They undertook all operations to clear protesters from the Pearl Roundabout, including one that took place on Bloody Thursday which led to the death of four protesters. The PSF also carried out arrests, patrol missions and searches.[1](pp52–3)

Human rights violations

According to the BICI report, PSF units involved in the Bahraini uprising used excessive force when dealing with protesters which led to many injuries, including loss of vision. The report stated:[1](pp266–7)

An examination of the evidence presented to the Commission has revealed that PSF units involved in the events of February/March 2011 and subsequent events in many situations violated the principles of necessity and proportionality, which are the generally applicable legal principles in matters relating to the use of force by law enforcement officials. This is evident in both the choice of weapons that were used by these forces during confrontations with civilians and the manner in which these weapons were used. ... [T]he Commission concludes that while it has not found evidence establishing a purposeful practice of the use of lethal force by PSF units during the performance of their duties, the PSF have, on many occasions, used force and firearms in situations where this was unnecessary and in a manner that was disproportionate.

However, as of May 2011, the Government of Bahrain has not taken any action against those who used excessive force against the protesters.[3](p10)

Chiefs of Public Security of Bahrain

# Name Took Office Left Office
1 Tariq Mubarak bin Dayna - 2011
2 Tariq Hasan Al Hasan 2011 -

References

  1. ^ a b c Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (Report). Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. 23 November 2011. http://files.bici.org.bh/BICIreportEN.pdf.
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Bahrain: Speaking Softly (Report). Human Rights First. 17 May 2011. http://www.humanrightsfirst.org/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Bahrain_Speaking_Softly_2011.pdf.
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