Ali Husain Hasan is a 14-year-old child under threat of arbitrary detention in Bahrain. Bahraini authorities held him incommunicado for several hours and continued to hold him in custody without bringing any charges before finally releasing him on the condition that he return at a later date.
On 14 February 2019, police who were chasing other individuals came across Ali and his friend Husain Radhi AbdulNabi playing in the street. The police stopped the children and demanded that they tell them the location of the people they sought. When the children told the police that they did not know, the police yelled at the children and beat them.
The officers then took Ali to al-Khamis police station and held him there for six hours without a lawyer or parent present. They eventually released him on bail, but not before pressuring him to confess to the charge of illegal assembly. The officers conditioned the release of Ali under the terms that he would return in two days to appear before the Office of Public Prosecution (OPP).
On 16 February 2019, Ali went to the OPP with a layer and presented a statement. The lawyer heard the statement and told Ali’s parents that Ali’s statement contained nothing incriminating against Ali. However, contrary to the lawyer’s expectation that the OPP would immediately release Ali, it instead detained Ali for five days in the Juvenile Care Center at Isa Town. On 20 February 2019, the OPP extended Ali’s detention for another week. On 27 February, the OPP extended Ali’s detention for four days.
Ali was charged with illegal assembly.
On 3 March 2019, the OPP finally released Ali on the condition that he personally guarantee that he appear before the court on 17 March for his hearing.
Bahrain has violated the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), to both of which it was acceded. It also contravened the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and may have violated the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (CAT). Officers arrested Ali without a warrant, beat him for information, refused him a lawyer and parental supervision during his interrogation, did not promptly bring him before a judge, and used detention as a first measure, rather than a last resort. Additionally, the charge of illegal assembly violates Ali’s rights to freedoms of expression and assembly. Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain (ADHRB) calls upon Bahrain to ensure that his upcoming trial is conducted in a manner consistent with due process and fair trial rights.