Middle East

Bahrain sacks prisons chief after escape

Interior minister dismisses prisons chief after two inmates escape from a main jail in southwestern Bahrain.

Last updated: 21 Apr 2014 15:55
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Protesters call for the release of political prisoners during a demonstration west of Manama in March [AP]

Bahrain's interior minister has ordered the dismissal of the country's prisons chief after two inmates escaped from a main jail, his office said.

Sheikh Rashid bin Abdullah al-Khalifa formed a committee to investigate the jailbreak from the Jau prison, in southeastern Bahrain, and to assess shortfalls in security measures, the ministry said.

On Monday he ordered the demotion of the official to the general security department, and appointed another officer as a caretaker under the ministry's supervision.

The interior ministry did not disclose details about the prison escapees.

Also on Monday, a Bahraini court sentenced 12 citizens to life imprisonment after finding them guilty of supporting terrorist activities and receiving training from Iran's Revolutionary Guard.

Defence lawyer Sayed Hashim Saleh said the court had convicted them the previous day, and sentenced two others to 15 years in prison. Six of the 12 sentenced to life were convicted in absentia.

Bahrain has faced more than three years of unrest following an uprising dominated by the Shia majority calling for greater rights from the country's Sunni rulers.

The government has accused Iran of stoking the unrest, which has included occasional violent attacks.



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