Bahraini regime tortures detained children: Amnesty

Bahraini regime tortures detained children: Amnesty
Mon Dec 16, 2013 16:20:43

Bahrain’s Al Khalifa regime beats and tortures children who have been detained on suspicion of taking part in anti-regime protests, Amnesty International says.

Amnesty International's watchdog slammed Al Khalifa regime's brutal crackdown on dissidents on Monday, saying that "Children are being routinely detained, ill-treated and tortured in Bahrain."

According to the report, scores of children, including some as young as 13, "were blindfolded, beaten and tortured in detention over the past two years."

"By rounding up suspected under-age offenders and locking them up, Bahrain's authorities are displaying an appalling disregard for its international human rights obligations," said Said Boumedouha, Amnesty's deputy director for the Middle East and North Africa.

The group said at least 110 children aged between 16 and 18 are held at the Dry Dock Prison, an adult facility, pending investigation or trial, over taking part in protests against the ruling Al Khalifa dynasty.

It said that sentenced children under the age of 15 held at a juvenile center face abuse at night, when social workers finish their day shifts and police take over.

It said the tiny Persian Gulf kingdom amended its juvenile law in August, allowing the jailing or fining of the fathers of children who take part in demonstrations.

Boumedouha added that Bahrain's regime is brazenly flouting international obligations on a routine basis by resorting to extreme measures such as imposing harsh prison sentences on children.

Bahrain is a signatory to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which defines a child as anyone below the age of 18. Amnesty said the convention explicitly prohibits torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.

In March 2011, security forces crushed a month-long uprising that demanded democratic reforms in the kingdom.


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