DUBAI (Reuters) - Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa issued a decree on Tuesday reorganizing the National Security Agency and appointing Lieutenant General Adel bin Khalifa Al Fadhel as its new president, effective immediately, the state news agency said.
The NSA has for decades been central to the Sunni Muslim-ruled kingdom’s efforts to overcome protests and occasional violence by members of the country’s Shi’ite Muslim majority.
The king also issued a decree appointing Sheikh Talal bin Mohammed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa as deputy interior minister.
In August, three Bahraini human rights groups accused the Gulf Arab monarchy’s NSA of the systematic use of torture.
A security official said at the time it would investigate the allegations.
In 2011, Bahrain put down an uprising by pro-democracy activists, many of them Shi’ites. The monarchy believes the opposition seeks to overthrow it by force and accuses Iran of aiding in deadly militant attacks on security forces.
Home to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, Bahrain denies opposition claims that it marginalizes Shi’ites economically and in government representation.
Reporting By Mostafa Hashem and Maha El Dahan; Editing by Janet Lawrence