Bahrain: Sheikh Nasser Appointed to Top Security Post despite Evidence of Torture

Bahrain: Sheikh Nasser Appointed to Top Security Post despite Evidence of Torture
Thu Oct 5, 2017 14:23:14

On 28 September 2017, Bahrain’s king appointed his son, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad Al Khalifa, to serve as a member of the Supreme Defense Council (SDC) despite credible allegations he directly tortured detainees in 2011. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) strongly condemns Sheikh Nasser’s promotion to one of the kingdom’s top security posts and reiterates our call for an independent, international investigation into reports of severe human rights abuses perpetrated by high-ranking government officials in Bahrain.

The SDC – which is made up exclusively of royal family members including the king, the crown prince, and the prime minister – is considered to be the country’s highest defense authority and presides over major national security decisions. Like the larger security apparatus in Bahrain, the kingdom’s Shia Muslim majority population remains virtually excluded from the SDC.

Sheikh Nasser’s appointment further advances his position in Bahrain’s security establishment after he assumed command of the Bahrain Defence Force (BDF) Royal Guard in June 2011. A brigadier-general educated at the United Kingdom (UK)’s Sandhurst military academy, Sheikh Nasser personally led a contingent of the Royal Guard’s Special Forces as part of Saudi Arabia’s coalition in Yemen, which has been repeatedly accused of war crimes that have deepened the humanitarian crisis in that country. In addition to his military career, Sheikh Nasser is also a leading figure in Bahrain’s athletic bureaucracy, serving as head of the Bahrain Olympic Committee, the Bahrain Royal Equestrian and Endurance Federation, and the Supreme Council for Youth and Sports. The current secretary-general of the SDC, Lieutenant-General, Sheikh Daij bin Salman Al Khalifa, cited these “numerous landmark achievements in the humanitarian, charitable, military and sports fields” as evidence of the “key patriotic role” Sheikh Nasser has played in Bahrain, and the primary grounds for his new appointment.

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