New Police Ombudsman Commits to Accountability, Transparency and Justice Per BICI Recommendations

Jul 11, 2013

Manama: August 26 -- (BNA) The recently-appointed Police Ombudsman for the Ministry of Interior, Secretary-General Nawaf Al-Maawdah, announced Yesterday (Saturday, 25 August) that his office will conduct independent investigations adopting an honest, neutral, professional and transparent approach to all investigations of police misconduct. The creation of the Office of Ombudsman marks the implementation of one of the recommendations of the BICI Report that called for independent oversight of the police force.
Al-Maawdah clarified that the Office of Ombudsman will investigate complaints from civilians against public security force personnel; and is also in charge of overseeing the Internal Affairs Office, keeping records and evidence relating to the investigations and proposing disciplinary actions in appropriate cases. Al-Maawdah stressed that his office has the legal right to access all information, data and documents related to a complaint.
 
"My top priorities are to respect the dignity and rights of the citizens of Bahrain in accordance with the constitution and international human rights standards," Al-Maawdah stated. "I am committed to upholding the principles within the new Police Code of Conduct and know that this is an important step in beginning to build trust and mutual respect between the community and the police." He went on to add that all citizens have the right to be treated with dignity.
 
"Transparency, integrity, trust, accountability, community partnership and basic humanity are the principles the Office of Ombudsman was founded on," Al-Maawdah said. "The Office of Ombudsman is committed to conducting professional investigations that seek the assistance of specialized experts in legal and human rights issues so that timely and trustworthy results are produced."
 
The Office of Ombudsman will begin accepting complaints immediately upon completion of a quick and thorough formation of the Ombudsman's executive and administrative staff.