Bahrain: Five year-old blinded after being shot by security forces
17 June 2012
Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) expresses its grave concern regarding the continuous use of excessive force against civilians in general in the areas of the protests. Although the Bahraini government is a signatory of the convention on the rights of the child, children in Bahrain are constantly being subjected to the police violence in their own neighborhoods by riot police.
Ahmed Mansoor Al Naham, a 5 year old boy, was helping his father Mansoor Al Naham run his fish stall in Al Dair village in Bahrain, when they were attacked and shot at by riot police. Mansoor tried saving his child by shielding him with his body. However according to BCHR members who documented the case and met witnesses, Ahmed and his father were shot at purposely twice with a shotgun from a close range.
Ahmed was injured with shotgun pellets in different parts of his body and his eye which caused bleeding. His father got several injuries too. Ahmed was then taken to Intensive care unit (ICU) in Salmaniya Hospital. On Thursday 14 June, he was transferred to Bahrain Defense hospital before being transferred again to a hospital in Saudi Arabia. Doctors’ attempts couldn’t save Ahmed’s eye. At the young age of 5, Ahmed has forever lost his sight in one of his eyes.
The Ministry of Interior (MOI) has admitted in their statement regarding the incident that they had shot at Ahmed and his father. They stated that the incident was an accident and blamed it on pro-democracy protesters.
Days after the incident, MOI did not hold any of its officers accountable for the shooting of the child and his father. This is not the first time a child is shot in the eye by the Bahraini police. BCHR has reported earlier the case of Asma AbdulJalil, a 7 year old girl who was injured from a piece of glass when a rubber bullet broke the window of her mother’s car where she was sitting. Just recently, Ahmed Auon, a 17 year old protester lost his eye due to injury with birdshot. Over 50 other cases were reported here
Alongside Ahmed’s family, BCHR demands the Bahraini government to take all the necessary actions to provide all the medical requirements to the injured child Ahmed AlNahama, and to hold the MOI officials who took part in the attack responsible for the life-long damage they have caused to Ahmed and his father. We also call upon the international community to take actions toward the Bahraini government’s severe and continuous violations of human rights.