Public Security Forces
|قوات الأمن العام|
|Jurisdiction||Government of Bahrain|
|Headquarters||Diwan Fort, Manama
|Parent agency||Ministry of Interior (Bahrain)|
The Public Security Forces (PSF), formerly known as the Bahrain State Police, are the principal Bahraini law enforcement arm of the Ministry of Interior. They are commanded by Maj. Gen. Tarek Al Hasan and include all Ministry of Interior field units responsible for maintaining order and security in Bahrain.(p52)
The Bahrain Police Directorate was first established in 1961 to address internal security, and was headed by Shaikh Mohammed ibn Salman Al Khalifa. At the time of Bahrain's independence from Britain in 1971, the name of the Directorate was changed to the Ministry of Interior, and the State Police was renamed as Public Security Forces.
The following units and departments are among those that report directly to the PSF command:
- The police departments of five of the governorates of Bahrain (Manama, Muharraq, Shamaliyah, Janabiyah and Wusta).
- The Special Forces Department.
- The Special Protections Department.
- The Counter Terrorism Centre.
- The General Directorate of Guards.
- The Traffic Police.
- The Operations Department.
- The Coast Guard.
Role during 2011–present uprising
Members of the PSF were the law enforcement officers most often involved in crowd control, and thus in direct clashes with protesters, during the Bahraini uprising. According to a Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) report issued in November 2011, they were equipped with "body armour, shields, batons, sound bombs, tear gas and shotguns." They undertook all operations to clear protesters from the Pearl Roundabout, including one that took place on Bloody Thursday which led to the death of four protesters. The PSF also carried out arrests, patrol missions and searches.(pp52–3)
Human rights violations
According to the BICI report, PSF units involved in the Bahraini uprising used excessive force when dealing with protesters which led to many injuries, including loss of vision. The report stated:(pp266–7)
An examination of the evidence presented to the Commission has revealed that PSF units involved in the events of February/March 2011 and subsequent events in many situations violated the principles of necessity and proportionality, which are the generally applicable legal principles in matters relating to the use of force by law enforcement officials. This is evident in both the choice of weapons that were used by these forces during confrontations with civilians and the manner in which these weapons were used. ... [T]he Commission concludes that while it has not found evidence establishing a purposeful practice of the use of lethal force by PSF units during the performance of their duties, the PSF have, on many occasions, used force and firearms in situations where this was unnecessary and in a manner that was disproportionate.
Chiefs of Public Security of Bahrain
|#||Name||Took Office||Left Office|
|1||Tariq Mubarak bin Dayna||-||2011|
|2||Tariq Hasan Al Hasan||2011||-|
The Public Security Forces originally operated a pair of Westland Scouts as well as a pair of Hughes 269C helicopters. Later deliveries included a pair of Sikorsky S-76 helicopters as well as a McCulloch J-2 autogyro and an unknown number of Hughes 500D scout helicopters. Three Bell 412 utility transport helicopters now form the main lift of the force, and a single Bell 427 was acquired in 2001.
- Report of the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (PDF) (Report). Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. 23 November 2011.
- Staff writer. "History of Police in the Kingdom of Bahrain". Ministry of the Interior (Bahrain). Retrieved 17 February 2012.
- Bahrain: Speaking Softly (PDF) (Report). Human Rights First. 17 May 2011.
- "Bahrain". Armed Forces Overviews. Scramble. Retrieved 4 January 2017.