Bahrain: Culture of impunity leads to another death of a child by the security forces as Eid approaches
Last Update: 18 August 2012, 12:44 PM, Photos inside
Hussam Al Haddad, a 16 year old boy from Muharraq, was reportedly killed on the night of 17th August 2012, by Bahrain security forces who continue to use excessive force against protesters. According to eye witnesses who contacted BCHR, Hussam was shot with shotgun pellets which made him fall to the ground. Then, one of his family members witnessed him getting kicked repeatedly by a man in civilian clothing while security forces stood idly watching. Finally when a family member was able to retrieve him, Hussam was soaked in blood. He opened his eyes for a second then fell unconscious. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) issued a statement confirming the death of a citizen tonight. However, they stated that MOI security forces were defending themselves by following legal procedures, calling Hussam AlHaddad a "terrorist". They neglected to mention that the security forces were armed and have caused the death of an unarmed 16 year old.
(More photos below)
Bahrain center for human rights (BCHR) member, Said Yousif Al Muhafdha was in the hospital with the 16 year old teenager’s family members. However, he was forced to leave Salmaniya Hospital and was not allowed to see the body of the child. Regime forces also forced the late teenager's family to leave without allowing them to see him. BCHR is seeking more details surrounding the death and will announce it when available.
On the morning of 18 Aug 2012, BCHR has been able to review photos of the body of Hussam after he was received by his family to be prepared for his funeral. Photos show clear birdshots injuries on his left arm, back and left side of his body, as well as marks of severe beating on his back and shoulder. The type of injuries also indicate that he was shot at close range. The injuries on the back and at close range are evidence that killing Al Hadad was intentional and not an act of self-defense as indicated in MOI’s statement.
Bahrain’s government has committed many crimes against children in the past year. At least 9 children were killed by the security forces use of direct shots or excessive use of teargas. Although the Ministry of Interior claimed that they will investigate the cases of children murdered by their forces, like the case of Ali Al Shaikh who was killed with direct shot of a teargas canister a year ago, also on Eid, these cases remain untouched and no one was held accountable. BCHR has issued many reports of child rights violations and demands putting an end to these violations which are being escalated by the regime.
We call on the international community, especially close allies to Bahrain like the United States and the United Kingdom, to take the necessary actions to immediately put an end to the severe violations of human rights in Bahrain, and the extra-judicial killing of unarmed civilians. We also call on the U.S and other countries which are selling arms to Bahrain to immediately stop the sale of arms, as they are a silent contributor to the violations of the Bahraini regime.