Document - Bahrain: Two boys among those held after protest
UA: 236/12 Index: MDE 11/049/2012 Bahrain Date: 7 August 2012
TWO BOYS AMONG THOSE HELD AFTER PROTEST
Two men and two boys under the age of 18 are currently held in a prison in Bahrain after they participated in a protest. None had access to family members until nearly 48 hours after their arrest.
Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman (15), Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al-Moqdad (15), Naser Saeed Hassan (20) and Hassan Abdul Jalil al-Ekri (20) were arrested on 23 July 2012 during an anti-government protest in Bilad al-Qadeem, west of Manama, the capital of Bahrain. After their arrest, they were first taken to a police station in Gudaibiya neighbourhood in Manama; then to the Criminal Investigation Department for interrogation, before being taken to the Public Prosecutor Office for further questioning. They were not allowed to speak to their families or to contact lawyers until nearly 48 hours after the arrest, and there was no lawyer present during their interrogation. They finally called their families nearly 48 hours after their arrest to inform them where they were being held.
All four are currently held in the Dry Dock prison in Manama and their detention has been extended until 23 September 2012. They have been charged with rioting and “illegal gathering”. They have now had access to their families although some of them have not seen their lawyers yet. At least one of the juveniles told his family he was participating in a peaceful protest. If some or all are held solely for the peaceful exercise of their right to freedom of assembly, they should be released immediately and unconditionally.
The age of criminal responsibility in Bahraini law is 15 years old. However being under 18, Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman and Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al-Moqdad are children and should be exposed only to Bahrain's Juvenile Justice system and not the regular criminal justice system. The Committee on the Rights of the Child has stated that ‘every person under the age of 18 years at the time of the alleged commission of an offence must be treated in accordance with the rules of juvenile justice’ (CRC General Comment No. 10,CRC/C/GC/10, 2007, paragraph 37). According to international standards on detention, young prisoners should be kept separate from adults.
Please write immediately in English or Arabic:
Express concern that Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman and Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al-Moqdad are being treated as adults despite being under the age of 18; and urge the authorities to ensure that they are treated in accordance with the rules of juvenile justice, particularly with respect to their detention and any proceedings against them;
Urge the Bahraini authorities to allow all four detainees immediate access to their lawyers;
Urge them to release all four immediately and unconditionally, if they are only held solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression
PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 18 SEPTEMBER 2012 TO:
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama,
Fax: +973 1766 4587
Salutation: Your Majesty
Minister of Interior
Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 1723 2661
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P. O. Box 450, al-Manama, Bahrain
Fax: +973 17531284
Email via website: http://www.moj.gov.bh/en/default76a7.html?action=category&ID=159
Salutation: Your Excellency
Also send copies to diplomatic representatives accredited to your country. Please insert local diplomatic addresses below:
Name Address 1 Address 2 Address 3 Fax Fax number Email Email address Salutation Salutation
Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.
two boys among those held after protest
Article 15 of the Convention for the Rights of the Child (CRC), to which Bahrain is a state party, states: 1. States Parties recognize the rights of the child to freedom of association and to freedom of peaceful assembly. 2. No restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights other than those imposed in conformity with the law and which are necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security or public safety, public order (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.
Article 37 of CRC states that: States Parties shall ensure that: (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; (d) Every child deprived of his or her liberty shall have the right to prompt access to legal and other appropriate assistance, as well as the right to challenge the legality of the deprivation of his or her liberty before a court or other competent, independent and impartial authority, and to a prompt decision on any such action.
Furthermore, Article 40 also states: 2(a) No child shall be alleged as, be accused of, or recognized as having infringed the penal law by reason of acts or omissions that were not prohibited by national or international law at the time they were committed; 2(b)(ii) To be informed promptly and directly of the charges against him or her, and, if appropriate, through his or her parents or legal guardians, and to have legal or other appropriate assistance in the preparation and presentation of his or her defence and 2 (b)(iv) Not to be compelled to give testimony or to confess guilt; to examine or have examined adverse witnesses and to obtain the participation and examination of witnesses on his or her behalf under conditions of equality.
The Bahraini authorities have publicly stated their intention to introduce reforms and ‘learn lessons’ from events in February and March 2011, when they cracked down on anti-government protesters. In November 2011, the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry (BICI), set up by the king, Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa, submitted a report of its investigation into human rights violations committed in connection with the anti-government protests. The report concluded that the authorities had committed gross human rights violations with impunity, including unlawful killings and excessive use of force against protesters, widespread torture and other ill-treatment of protesters and unfair trials. The report also urged the government to establish immediately an independent body made up of representatives of civil society, the opposition and the government; to oversee the implementation of the BICI’s recommendations; to usher in legislative reforms to ensure laws are in line with international human rights standards; to bring to account those responsible for abuses; to release all prisoners of conscience and to conduct investigations into allegations of torture.
An 11-year-old boy, Ali Hassan, was also arrested in Bahrain in May 2012. He was released on 5 July after a Juvenile Court convicted him on charges of “participating with others in an illegal gathering of more than five people, in order to disturb public security by way of violence” under articles purporting to the Juvenile Laws and Articles 178 and 179 of Bahrain’s Penal Code and sentenced him to remain under supervision for a year during which he would be assessed every six months by social workers. Further info: MDE 11/043/2012, www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE11/043/2012/en
Name: Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman, Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al-Moqdad, Naser Saeed Hassan, Hassan Abdul Jalil al-Ekri
Gender m/f: all male
UA: 236/12 Index: MDE 11/049/2012 Issue Date: 7 August 2012