ADHRB at HRC40: the mistreatment of minors in Bahraini detention centers

6 March 2019 – Today at the 40th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council,  Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) delivered an oral intervention during the Item 3 Clustered Interactive Dialogue with the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG) on violence against children and children in armed conflict. This intervention describes the violence and mistreatment suffered by children in Bahraini detention centers at the hands of Bahraini security forces. Please continue reading for the full text of the statement, or click for a PDF of her remarks.

Mr. President,

IDO and ADHRB would like to thank Special Representative Santos Pais for her report, and we wish todraw her attention to the violence against minors in prisons and detention centers in Bahrain.

One such minor is Ali Fadhul, a 17-year-old student who was targeted for arrest due to the conviction of some of his relatives. Fadhul remained for two days at the Criminal Investigation Directorate, blindfolded, handcuffed, deprived of food and water, and forced to stand. Following these two days of starvation and dehydration, officers beat him.

Twenty-one days after Fadhul’s arrest, authorities transferred him to New Dry Dock Detention Center in Jau Prison. Fadhul suffered considerable weight loss, loss of balance, an abnormally high red blood cell count, and bares a scar from when officers beat him in the head with a paper hole punch.

Fadhul’scase is just one of many, including Hussain Marhoon, who was 16-years-old when he was arrested, beaten, and threatened by Bahraini authorities; and Sayed Hadi Ahmed, who was 15-years-old when Bahraini officers forcibly entered his home, woke him at gunpoint, arrested him, and beat him in various detention centers.

Children have also reportedly faced violence at the hands of Bahraini authorities during arrest – like Husain Radhi AbdulNabi, age 13 and Ali Husain Hasan, age 14, who were arrested this February. Officers beat and yelled at these children for the alleged crime of illegal assembly, though the children maintain that they were simply playing in a nearby street.

With this in mind, IDO asks the Special Representative, how can the international community ensure the respect of the fundamental human rights and protection of children in Bahrain and furthermore, will you request a visit to Bahrain to see the conditions?

Thank You.