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February 11, 2015

Why Bahrain Needs Security Force Reform

Part of Bahrain’s political problem is that although the most Bahrainis are Shia, its security forces are made up almost entirely from the minority Sunni sect. There are few Shia faces in the police or military. This has fueled the country’s polarization and instability. Fours year after mass democracy protests broke out and were met with violent crackdown, many of the same problems remain – reports of torture in custody and other violations of human rights by the security forces. Much of the security services appear disconnected from or antagonistic to the public they should be protecting.

Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley spoke to policing expert Staci Strobl, who teaches at the John Jay College in New York. Her research focuses on the Bahrain police force and the reform of security services in other countries to better represent the communities they serve.

Listen to the conversation here.