Photo: torture marks on the body of Sayed Yaseen Shubber, 13 year old.

3 May 2012

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights condemns the authorities’ systematic acts of violence against children in Bahrain. Children’s rights have been abused and violated since the start of the revolution while violations continue to escalate on a daily basis.

Sayed Yaseen Sayed Abduljaleel Shubber, a 13 year old, was arrested by riot police in his neighborhood in Hamad Town on 27 April 2012. They released him on the condition of his appearing at the public prosecution on 29 April 2012. After his release, marks of torture were very apparent on his back and face, especially near his eyes which indicated the severity of torture and beatings that he was subjected to by riot police.

On Sunday 29 April, the juvenile court judge ordered his detention until 3 May 2012, then extended detention to 7 more days, disregarding the evidence of torture and mistreatment he underwent during his arrest. He was accused of tearing up a police shirt, beating a police officer, and the usual accusations of rioting and illegal gathering. These charges are amongst the harshest and most absurd charges that a child has been accused of since the state of National Safety, AKA Martial law was declared last year on 15 March. This comes after taking into account the fact that Sayed Yaseen is a 13 year old unarmed boy and the police are fully armed grown-ups.

Today, another 13 years old child appeared at the court, his lawyer said the boy AbdulKarim Hassan (13 years) who is accused with illegal assembly and throwing Molotov cocktails at police, has hardly spoke before the judge about his arrest as he almost cried.

The child AbdulKarim said that there were clashes between police and protesters in his village on Sunday April 29 and he was heading to the house of his uncle when he saw a group of police running on his direction. As a result of fear he started to run, but they caught him, and they have beaten with batons on his hands, and then he was taken to the police station where he was insulted.

The child said as his voice indicates he is about to start crying: "One of the police said to me you are "one-eyed ", so you better confess or I will turn you into a blind. He also said to me, you are Iran's children and the children of muta'a" [ children of temporary marriage , this is a kind onf insult to the child who may not even know what is a temporary marriage]."

The judge of juvenile court ordered to extend detention of Abdulkarim for a period of 7 days, that add to a previous 5 days detention. The judge was indifferent to the child's health and his childhood and being a student at the school.

Not less than 60 child below the age of 18 are currently in detention, some of who are sentenced up to 15 years imprisonment after military trials. There are at least dozens of cases where children were beaten and assaulted by riot police.

The act of detention and ill-treatment of a child in in contrary with several articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including Art(3): "In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration." , Art(37): "States Parties shall ensure that: (a) No child shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility of release shall be imposed for offences committed by persons below eighteen years of age;". (b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time;"

We demand the immediate release of Sayed Yaseen Sayed Abduljaleel and all other detained children, putting an end to the torture and ill-treatment of children in Bahrain and their illegal arrests based on sham charges. We appeal to children's rights organizations and the international community to call on the Bahraini authorities to stop violating children's rights.

Background: The Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI) has documented children's rights violations in its published report. BCHR has also documented numerous cases and released reports of children's rights violations since February 14 2011. Not less than 60 child below the age of 18 are currently in detention, some of who are sentenced up to 15 years imprisonment. There are at least dozens of cases where children were beaten and assaulted by riot police. Meanwhile no actions have been taken by the government of Bahrain to put an end for this while reports of children arrests and torture are being documented on a daily basis. Please refer to:

Bahrain: Violations of the Rights of the Child worse than ever: Deaths by excessive force, and military trials at age of 15 Child Abuse In Bahrain Continues Without Accountability: Murder, Arbitrary Arrests, Torture And Harsh Military Sentences