“Salman Mahdi” The Youngest Political Detainee: They Tortured me in Budaiya Police Station and Cursed my Parents in Front of me

Salman Mahdi
Salman Mahdi

2013-09-14 - 7:33 م

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): the youngest political detainee in Bahrain, Salman Mahdi (13 years) broke his silence 3 days after his release and revealed his sufferings upon his detention on 11 August to “Bahrain Mirror”.

Faces of people who beat him are still engraved in his memory, his sufferings in court hearings and investigation for 27 days long made him a child trapped in a man’s body. The police neither pitied him nor took into consideration his young age or thin body. Even his parents could not protect him from police aggression.

Signs of anxiety were clearly shown on his innocent face. His legs and hands could not stopshivering; he tried to hold his hands tight to stand still. His eyes did not stop moving right and left. Only his mother could ease his anxiety and encouraged him to talk fearlessly, so Salman started talking fluently which surprised his mother and pleased her at the same time. Her son, Salman, could finally spell out the pain he endured in the prison.

I was beaten: A man-child conversation

Salman started talking. His first sentence was: yes, they beat me on my detention day at Budaiya Police Station. As soon as I arrived there, 2 policemen and an officer took me to the higher floor and started beating me violently and continuously on my face. Moreover, they threatened to beat me more if I don’t tell them what they wanted or I state that they hit me. They also, from time to time, threatened to imprison my father and mother, so when the station officer investigated me I said everything I was asked to say in order not to be hit again.

The young child continued his speak about what happen at Budaiya Center: The hardest moment was when I saw them cursing my father in front of me and calling him “Liar” just because they wanted him to confess that I participated in the riot actions, the thing that my father refused to do. As for my mother, she too was attacked and cursed in front of me. They also threatened to keep me imprisoned if she does not speak out.  

At the court: I just wanted to embrace my parents

Salman impressively spoke about his suffering in the court hearings. He now knows the court terms and procedures. ”I attended four court hearings and each time I enter to appear before the judge, he used to postpone my issue for another weak claiming that my report has not been sent from the prison yet. My parents got tired as they continued their visits to Budaiya center, the prison and the public prosecution searching for my reports which I was sure would stand for me.”

Salman added, “I will always remember some stances I faced during my four trips to the court. The most painful one was when I saw my parents from a faraway place and I wanted to hug them. I begged the policewoman to allow me see them but she refused because she was afraid to break the rules, so I screamed: Dad, Mom...I am here.”

The other stance which increased my anxiety and fear was when the officer was wandering the rooms with me searching for my report. I knew that not finding my report will delay my judicial proceeding and eventually my release.

In addition, the situation that irritated me was when the judge postponed my release due to the officials’ ignorance delivering my event report to the court. I remember the exact words of the judge: "I cannot set you free due to the absence of the prison’s report."

Expecting the anonymous 

Salman describes his feelings after setting him free, “I had a strong feeling that I am leaving the prison because schools were about to open their doors and everyone in the prison was praising me. However, my joy did not come to an end because I am waiting now for my fifth hearing on 24 September and I am afraid they would send me back to the prison.

“I want to stay with my family. I don’t want to go there again. They forbid me from calling my mom and the allowed visits were few and for 5 minutes maximum.”

At the end of the meeting, Salman asked us a question that held our tongues. “Do you think I can enjoy my time with my friends as before? Can I leave home to play with them? I am afraid since the police will not leave me alone.”

Children Detention continues despite international condemnation

It is said that the youth Salman Mahdi, the youngest detainee in the Bahraini prisons, was arrested when he was next to Country Mall on 11 August when a police car chased him and arrested him for 27 days until he was set free on 10 September.

The European parliament issued a decision yesterday demanding the Bahraini authorities to quickly implement the condemnation of BICI and Geneva recommendations. The decision also stated that Bahraini authorities have to respect youth rights, stop detaining them and address the youth issues according to convention of human rights of the child, which Bahrain is a participant in.

47 countries including Britain and the United States asked Bahrain, in a joint statement that was delivered in Human Right Council in Geneva, to quickly implement the BICI recommendations and the universal periodic review recommendations considering the Bahraini human rights issue a serious and anxious problem. In this context, they pointed at the arrests and political trials. Furthermore, they asked the Bahraini authorities to allow the visit of the United Nations Special Rapporteur. 

Meanwhile, the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay affirmed, “the continual targeting of the Bahraini society and the harsh campaign on human rights defenders and peaceful protestors.” Pillay said at the beginning of Human Right Council session for autumn in Geneva,  “I am sorry to tell you that human rights issue in Bahrain is still dangerous and a matter of concern.” She then renewed her call for the Bahraini regime to “fully obey the international human rights obligations."




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