Role of UK police in training Bahrain’s forces ‘ignores abuses’
British police have come under fire for their role in training Bahrain’s police force, which has been accused of ruthlessly suppressing public protests and dissent.
A confidential 27-page “agreement for the provision of services”, obtained by the Observer, was signed on 14 June 2015 by the UK’s College of Policing and Bahrain’s Ministry of Interior. It spells out the explicitly commercial nature of the relationship between the two parties, but omits any mention of human rights issues.
Since it was created in 2012, the college has earned more than £8.5m from its international work, but has faced questions about its remit. Parliament’s home affairs select committee recently criticised the college’s overseas training programme, claiming that “opaque” agreements with foreign governments, which have been criticised for human rights abuses, “threaten the integrity of the very brand of British policing that the college is trying to promote”.