14 February 2021 – A Bahraini judge has renewed the detention of two 13-year old children, Mohammed Rashid and Husain Ayoob, for a further 7 days following their arrest a week ago over charges related to protest activity. A further five juveniles remain detained in Bahrain after a series of arrests which appear to be aimed at deterring protests marking the tenth anniversary of Bahrain’s Arab Spring uprising, the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) stated today.
Both boys were detained on 7 February after their parents were ordered to present them to the Bahrain’s Public Prosecutor. They face over 20 years in prison under Article 277 of Bahrain’s Penal Code. over arson charges linked to protests in their home village of Abu Qua last year. Husain was interrogated without his lawyer or his parents present in violation, despite his lawyer being in the building and notifying staff that she was waiting for the interview. His mother spoke with BIRD after seeing her son at a court hearing earlier today, stating that she “saw my son at court and he was unable to speak because of his tears. He is emotionally broken.”
Since 7 Feb, I can verify that 7 children are currently detained in #Bahrain over charges linked to protesting. The youngest is an 11yo primary school child & most vulnerable is 16yo boy with serious medical conditions that landed him in ICU for a week late last year.
— Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei (@SAlwadaei) February 12, 2021
BIRD can confirm that a further 5 juveniles remain in police custody in Bahrain, including primary school child Redha Abbas, who celebrated his 12th birthday in a prison cell yesterday. Redha was detained on 8 February alongside 15-year old Ali Yusuf Abdullah over charges linked to protests against the Formula 1 Bahrain Grand Prix last November. Both are held at Isa Town Juvenile Detention Centre.
On 11 February, Bahrain also detained 17-year old Fares Husain, 16-year old Mohammed Jaafar and 16-year old Sayed Hasan Ameen, who are currently held at Dry Dock Detention Centre. BIRD have reviewed Sayed Hasan’s medical records, which show that he suffers from a range of health problems and spent 7 days in intensive care in late 2020 after suffering seizures and reduced heart function linked to sickle cell anaemia. His parents are deeply concerned that he does not have access to medication, making him extremely vulnerable to COVID-19.
This child is celebrating his 12th birthday today in a prison cell in #Bahrain.
I was told since his arrest on Monday (8th Feb), he only called his parents once on Tuesday. No family visits allowed.
How dare a judge have ordered his detention for 7 days.
— Sayed Ahmed AlWadaei (@SAlwadaei) February 13, 2021
Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of BIRD, commented: “Bahrain’s government is so terrified of dissent they are now arresting children to send a message that protests to mark the 10th anniversary of Bahrain’s Arab Spring uprising will not be tolerated. Their detention is only possible with the silence of Bahrain’s allies in Washington and Whitehall; they must act now to ensure these boys are returned to their families where they belong.”