Bahrain’s Public Prosecution summons six-year-old child for interrogation

The Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) stated that Bahrain’s Public Prosecution summoned a six-year-old child for interrogation on Wednesday. The Public Prosecution summoned Ali Abbas Abu Taki (age six) after authorities arrested his brother Abdullah (age 10) last Friday in the village of Buri. Talking with Nabeel Rajab, director of BCHR, Ali revealed that riot police beat him.

Despite its obligations to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), Bahrain continues to target children. In 2014, Bahrain’s First High Criminal Court sentenced 14 youth to life imprisonment under the counter-terrorism law, including two children aged 16 and 17. Article 37 of the CRC specifically says, “Neither capital punishment nor life imprisonment without possibility for release shall be imposed for offices committed by persons below eighteen years of age.” Authorities kept both minors at the Dry Dock detention center, an adult detention facility, and tried them as adults. In a new report published in January 2016, the Child Rights International Network (CRIN) ranked Bahrain 168th out of 197 countries in the world on how effectively children can use the justice system and courts to defend their rights. CRIN’s director said “it is hard to ignore how many countries with deplorable human rights records are on the lower end of the ranking for children’s access to justice.” This latest case in Bahrain involving a six-year old and his ten-year old brother only adds to Bahrain’s continued injustices against children and raises concerns over its ongoing disregard for the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Tyler Pry is an Advocacy Intern at Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain

Photo courtesy of Bahrain Mirror