Officials sanctioned after Bahrain jailbreak

Officials sanctioned after Bahrain jailbreak
Bahraini officials are being investigated over a jailbreak at the kingdom's central prison over the weekend.
2 min read
04 January, 2017
Ten inmates escaped after breaking out of prison in Bahrain [Getty]
Bahraini authorities said Wednesday three officials have been referred to the prosecutor in connection with the investigation into a deadly attack and jailbreak at the kingdom's central prison.

On Sunday, gunmen attacked Jaw prison south of the capital Manama, killing a policeman and allowing 10 inmates to escape.

Shias activists convicted over anti-government protests in Sunni-ruled Bahrain are often held at the facility.

Interior Minister Sheikh Rashid al-Khalifa said in a statement on Monday that three officials including the prison director had been suspended from their duties.

The three have also been referred to the prosecution service "in the light of recommendations made by the commission of inquiry" into the attack, the minister said, quoted by the official BNA news agency.

There has been no information about the attackers, thought to number as many as five, or about the 10 prisoners now on the run.

Seven of the escapees had been serving life sentences and three were serving lengthy jail terms for "terrorist acts", the interior ministry said on Sunday.

Tiny but strategic Bahrain has been rocked by unrest since the authorities crushed protests in 2011 demanding a constitutional monarchy and an elected prime minister.

Hundreds have been arrested and many have faced trials over their role in the demonstrations.

In June last year, 17 prisoners broke out of Al-Hadd jail east of Manama, but the authorities recaptured 11 the next day.

Bahrain, which is connected to Saudi Arabia by a causeway, lies across the Gulf from Iran and is also home to the US Fifth Fleet.