Bahrain replaces security chief after crackdown inquiry

November 29, 2011 00:28
1 minute read.

MANAMA - Bahrain's King Hamad replaced the head of the state security apparatus on Tuesday as part of a shakeup after an inquiry exposed widespread rights abuses during a crackdown on Arab Spring protests led by majority Shi'ites.

The Gulf Arab state has said it will comply with the findings of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry, and is under pressure from its ally the United States to show improvements in its rights record to secure a large arms sale.

The inquiry headed by international rights lawyers was set up after Bahrain faced international criticism over imposing martial law and calling in Saudi and United Arab Emirates forces to help end the protests.

Adel bin Khalifa Hamad al-Fadhel was named head of the national security agency, replacing Sheikh Khalifa bin Abdullah, a member of the ruling al-Khalifa family. Sheikh Khalifa was made secretary general of Bahrain's Supreme Defence Council and a national security advisor to the king.

The government also said that the interior ministry was in the process of hiring US and British security experts to help police protect rights and freedoms while enforcing order. It said a code of conduct would be developed for police.

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