30 July 2012

Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its grave concern regarding the continuous arbitrary arrests and use of excessive force against civilians specially against children.

Ahmed Hilal, a 15 year old boy, according to his lawyer "Mohammed Al-Oraibi", he was arrested from the village of Mussala during a disperse of a peaceful protest in Friday, 13th July 2012. Ahmed was walking home and saw a number of protestors being chased by riot police, unknowing the reason, he kept walking to be then arrested by the riot police. Ahmed have stated during the investigation at the Public Prosecution that he was beaten by the police while being arrested. Lawyer Al-Oraibi stated that in spite the lack of evidence against Ahmed, the public prosecution have order to jail him for 45 days for further investigation and he is being charged for "illegal gathering".

Ali Al-Aradi, a 16 years old child, according to lawyer Al-Oraibi, he was arrested during a disperse of a peaceful protest called by the Political Societies in Friday, 13th July 2012. Ali have left his grandfather's house heading to a car cleaning shop while police were chasing protesters. A police car was driving at him and he tried to avoid it and fell and then he got arrested. During the investigation at the Public Prosecution Ali have stated that he was beaten by the police during the arrest. Public prosecution charged him with "illegal gathering" and ordered to jail him for 45 days for further investigation. Both of the children Ahmed and Ali are put in adult jail facilities.[1]

It is not the first time the Bahraini government target children and arbitrary arrest them. on May 2012, child Ali Hassan, 11years old, was arrested and was put on trial.

Although the Bahraini government is a signatory of the convention on the rights of the chid, children are constantly being subjected to the police violence in their own neighbourhood's by riot police.

On May 2012, the BCHR has reported another 2 cases of detention and ill-treatment of children below the age of 15 at police custody. Records show that the arrest and detention of children under the age of 18 for allegation of involvement in protest is a routine in Bahrain. At least three minors have received very harsh sentences of up to 15 years in prison by military court in 2011.

The BCHR demands the immediate release of 15-year-old Ahmed Hilal, 16-year-old Ali Al-Aradi and all other detained children who were arrested during the on-going protests in Bahrain, and to drop all falsified charges against them. We appeal to children's rights organizations and the international community to call on the Bahraini authorities to stop violating children's rights.