20 April 2013

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights express grave concern over the loss of an eye from 5 year-old child Ahmed Al-Naham due to the excessive and arbitrary use of birdshots in residential areas by the security forces. 10 months after the attacks, no one has been held accountable.

Link to image of Ahmed's eye: warning, the photo is graphic.

On 12 April 2013, Ahmed Mansoor AlNaham underwent a surgery to remove his left eye at a hospital in Singapore after he was injured by police birdshots in June 2012. It was the last medical option suggested by doctors to save his other eye after failing to save his injured eye.

Ahmed was injured in his left eye on 14 June 2012, while he was helping his father Mansoor Al Naham run his fish stall in Al Dair village in Bahrain, when they were attacked and shot at twice by riot police despite his father warning to the police that he is accompanied by a child. Mansoor tried saving his child by shielding him with his body, however they were both shot at from a close range and they sustained injuries in multiple part of their bodies.

Ahmed received medical treatment in Bahrain at the Salmaniya Medical Complex and the military hospital at first, he was then taken to Saudi Arabia where he went through 2 surgeries to remove birdshots from his eye. He was then taken to Ireland and finally to Singapore hoping to find a medical solution so that his left eye can see again.

Ahmed’s sister said that he still has more than 150 birdshot pellets inside his body.

The Ministry of the Interior, which has taken such rapid action against human rights defenders, such as when they investigated, located, and arrested human rights defender Said Yousif Al-Muhafdha just 23 minutes after posting a tweet. However, in this case of investigation the responsible police officers, the Interior Ministry has not been able to find anyone accountable ten months after the incident.

Many individuals, protesters or otherwise, have lost their eyes due to the excessive use of force applied by the security forces. Asma AbdulJalil, a 7 year old girl was injured from a piece of glass when a rubber bullet broke the window of her mother’s car where she was sitting. No one was held accountable for this injuries.

Recently injured: 7 year-old Asma AbdulJalil

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights calls for: - A transparent and independent investigations into the attack on child Ahmed alNahama and those responsible must be brought to justice.

- An immediate stop to brutal attacks on peaceful protests, and the use of excessive force and the shotgun.

- All victims of riot police, including those with eye injuries, must be treated and compensated.

The BCHR calls on the international community and organizations to put pressure on the Bahraini regime to stop using such brutal force against pro-democracy protesters. We call on the US administration and other allies of the Bahraini government to take a stand against human rights abuses that continue in the country.

Ahmed Talking on Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCgpbKdAR8U