International human rights organization Reprieve has accused the UK Foreign Office of running a program to train Bahraini forces, who it says are systematically torturing and abusing regime opponents.
Reprieve published a report Thursday calling on Northern Ireland Co-operation Overseas (NI-CO) to immediately suspend its contract with Bahrain to train its police and prison guards.
NI-CO was awarded a £900,000 Foreign Office contract last year to train Bahraini forces. The Belfast-based company confirmed to the BBC that it has worked on behalf of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Bahrain since 2013.
NI-CO “received almost a million pounds in UK taxpayer money last year for work with Bahrain’s interior ministry,” Reprieve said.
The London-based rights group said NI-CO experts trained as many as 400 guards at Jau Prison – which holds prisoners awaiting execution – last year.
NI-CO’s engagement in Bahrain raises concerns about…