On 21 November, Amnesty International issued a 55-page report investigating two Bahraini institutions for addressing human rights abuses – the Ombudsman’s Office and the Special Investigations Unit. The report was entitled: Window dressing or pioneers of change?
A review of Amnesty’s report into the Ombudsman’s Office can be found here.
The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was established by the Public Prosecutor in March 2012 in response to BICI recommendations 1716 and 1722, with a mandate to determine the criminal liability of officials responsible for physical abuse and other illegal acts. Following its investigation, the SIU can bring criminal charges against the suspected perpetrator and refer them for trial before the courts or refer the matter to another government authority to impose disciplinary sanctions.
Amnesty noted that “the powers of the SIU have increased since 2014 when the head of the SIU was given the rank of Attorney General, enabling him to refer criminal prosecutions directly to the courts for trial without first obtaining the PPO’s approval.”...