The Bahrain Center for Human Rights is appalled over the ongoing arbitrary arrests and detention of children under the age of 18 in blatant disregard to the international laws and conventions.
On 10 February 2015, at 2 am, security forces arrested Hussain Ghazi Alhalwachi from his family home for accusations related to him of throwing stone at a picture of the Prime Minister of Bahrain. Hussain was told that if he admitted the former, they would restrain from arresting him which, by fear, he did. However, even though they had informed his family that they would follow normal procedures i.e. that Hussain would be taken to the police station in Hoora for formalities but then released, he was severely beaten and harassed by security officers, being forced to repeat that the Prime MInister is the reason he has a roof over his head and food on his table. Moreover, when Hussain’s father went to the police station in Hoora, they denied knowing anything about him or his whereabouts. This is not the first time that Hussain was arrested, he was previously arrested when he was 14 years-old.
Unfortunately, Hussain Ghazi Alhalwachi is not the only child that has been arrested and has been subjected to enforced disappearance; Sayed Ali Mostafa Hussein Sayed Shebr, 16, Qasem Mohammad Ameen Hussein, 17, Qasem Abdunabi Imran Khudayr, 17 and Yousef Ahmed Imran Khodhair, 17, have been arrested on 25 January 2015 and have been subjected to enforced disappearance for more than two weeks before they were allowed to contact their families.
Currently, there are approximately 400 children in Bahraini prisons being held over politically motivated charges. The BCHR believes that Bahrain continuously violates the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC) which guarantees in Article 37 that no child “shall be subjected to torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” and “deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily.”
The BCHR calls on the United States, the United Kingdom, the UN, UNICEF, and all other allies and international institutions to put pressure on the Government of Bahrain to immediately:
Release 17 years old Hussain Ghazi Alhalwachi and other children
Stop violating children's rights and stop the targeting of children with arrest, detention and ill-treatment
To abide by the laws of the International Convention for the Rights of the Child.