The arrested children on the School's Eve: "Back to Jail"!

2014-09-09 - 3:45 ص

Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Robert Fisk, the most famous British journalist worldwide, himself led the process of transporting the medical aid that the Independent readers bought for the Iraqi children in 1998. This process not only faced logistic difficulties, but also political obstacles due to the sanctions imposed on Iraq by the UN from one hand and the banning of Saddam's tyrannical regime of importing medicines on the another hand.
"The arrival of our truck to the Iraq desert was a miracle," says Fisk

Since 1990 and until the invasion of Iraq, more than one million Iraqi children died due to the oppressive blockade on the Iraqi people. In addition to the victims who died due to shelter bombing, tens of thousands died as a result of cholera, polluted water, malnutrition and a form of cancer caused by the uranium-head missiles shot in Iraq.

Fisk, who conducted investigative reports about this disease, found himself obliged to do another mission beyond his journalistic career: Relief Work.

Our children in Bahrain need some relief work; these children are under the executioner's hands. They need to be protected from arrest, torturing inside prisons, beatings and abuse whilst in their neighborhoods. They also need to be protected from discrimination and childhood arrests whilst even at school.
Our children and youth need to feel protected while at home and safe from the gas canisters, shotguns and the abusing mercenaries. They need to see their detained fathers, mothers and siblings with them at home.
Children are not safe in Bahrain. Worse is that dissenting Bahraini children, which most of them are Shiites, in particular, are not safe. The Bahraini regime is oppressive and sectarian even in its systemic and senseless targeting of children.

No Safety

In March 2011 before announcing the state of emergency, the infant (Zeinab Haram) became blind as a result of the tear gas canisters. Moreover, in 2013, Kassim Habeeb, an eight-year-old boy suffocated from the toxic gases and died. While a number of mothers miscarried due to inhaling the deadly gases, tens of children and infants suffered from severe complications as a result of inhaling these gases and were transferred to hospitals. Some of these suffering children and infants entered into a state of coma.

The imprisoned children were prevented from treatment and medicine, while abnormal boys were arrested. In addition, Abrar Omran, an eight-year-old Bahraini girl was called for investigation with being charged with participating in a protest in Manama. Meanwhile, teenagers, such as Hassan Aoun, were threatened with rape and tortured. A youth from Karbabad was detained after being chased. He was subjected to torturing and electric shocks and was obliged to work as a spy for the security bodies. Another citizen was slapped, while carrying his son, by an officer in A'ali country. It is worth mentioning that the child saw his father being slapped.
The 15-year-old Fatima Al Khawaja was shot in her stomach and chest while protesting with her family next to their home in Al Kawarah. However, a child was detained from his bedroom and moved over the fence of one of the houses.

A number of videos showed the brutality of the security forces' dealing with children; those who walk in their neighborhoods next to their homes or those challenging the authorities and walking in anti-regime protests. Another video screened a security man slapping a child while passing in one of the country's street, whereas another one showed a security man holding a camera and hitting a child, knocking him down and kicking him, with another child being severely beaten on the head by the rifle butt.

Sand Barriers next to schools

Ali Al Singace, a child, was kidnapped and subjected to sexual harassment at the hands of the security forces. Other children were badly injured while being present at repressed assemblies. Furthermore, school buses were prevented from entering Al Eker country during the arbitrary blockade on it in 2012. The security forces also placed sand barriers in a number of areas where students had to jump over to arrive at their schools, as what happened in Al Daih.

Some schools' administrations called some students' parents for investigation sessions because of drawings on the students' desks like Lulu Roundabout. The 8-year-old- Hisham Hassan was suspended from school on 8 January 2013 and got beaten by the school's administration members in front of his peers for repeating political slogans. Hisham was entered into a school commission inquiry without his parents' knowledge.
Although he was imprisoned, Al Wefaq honored, on 24 July 2014, the outstanding youth, Mohammed Abdulrida Al Jalabi, who graduated from the high school with an average of 95%. An empty seat on the platform was specialized for Al Jalabi, where his photo was placed.

Between 15-18 years: the teenager youths in the Bahraini legal system

The regime is no longer shy about targeting children despite the widespread international condemnation. On the contrary, it increased oppression against them and started bragging that these are not "children" and one should feel no pity for them, for they are "criminals"!

According to the Bahraini regime, a child's age does not have to exceed 15 to be considered one (contrary to the 18 age specified by the international agreements which Bahrain did not commit to). The regime, moreover, specializes a specific legal definition of those between 15 and 18; "Minor Age".
Article 68 of the Bahraini Penal Code, Chapter four, Extenuating Justifications and Circumstances, stipulates that, "Justifications shall either be exempted from punishment or extenuating thereto" and article 70 stipulates that, "Subject to the cases set forth in the Law, extenuating justifications shall be deemed to include the minor age of the accused, who shall be more than fifteen but less the eighteen years of age, and committing the offence for honorable motives or objectives or as a consequence of serious provocation by the victim who has no legal right so to do."

Based on the law, the judge has to commute the sentence "if a mitigated excuse was found" through which the sentence may comprise of a fine instead of imprisonment in some cases.
Contrary to the aforementioned, the sentence issued against the teenagers in political issues since 2011 have been strict and not reduced! Detained at the age of 17, a youth's total provisions reached 64 years in jail, meanwhile, 15-year-old youths were sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Surprisingly, the court of appeal reduced, on 23 August, the sentence of a youth based on the above articles, despite him being charged with assaulting police with Molotov bombs and burning tires "under terrorism purpose". The operative part of the judgment said, "Pursuant to the complaint's age and the articles 71 and 72 of the Penal Code, and based on the excuse that the convict's age did not exceed the 18, the court decided to formally accept the appeal and commute the sentence to 3 years in prison". This case calls for repealing the other provisions or at least dubitante them for the intentionally ignorance of the legal text, even if it "allows" and does not "oblige" the judge to commute the punishment.

Those arrested under the age of 15 are of third graders or high school age. Will hundreds of children and teenagers spend their lives in prison to produce at the end a destroyed and ignorant generation incapable of facing tyranny?

More than writing angry articles

When we, in Bahrain Mirror, started our campaign "Children of Bahrain: Those who oppose the regime are in prisons" on 28 July 2014, on Eid Al Fitr, we were sure that "we can do something more than just writing angry articles about the problem of the abandoned children", as Fisk says.

We knew that there are many in Bahrain who do this role, and who had their role in this campaign too. However, this work which started 3 and half years ago and which is promoted by the interference of international organizations does not seem to have any effect on the Bahraini government.

Some fathers of the detained children went themselves to Geneva at the time of the United Nations Human Rights Council's session. There is also a message from the detained children delivered by one of them urging all the countries to interfere to protect them from "tyranny".

The international charters ratified by Bahrain and the "Rights of the child" convention, in particular, did not put an end to children being killed, arrested, tortured and abused at the hands of the police by the riffles butts in Bahrain. However, what is really shocking is transferring these children at the end to the courts being charged with assaulting "security men"!

Amid this revolution that left no way to compromise with the ruling regime, we have to look thoroughly in this file more than the other files of the victims and abused.

Targeting the Children is a part of the organized "Purging" process

How can the child (Salman Mahdi) threaten the regime with all its intelligence, security and military bodies? How can he be dangerous to the regime and be punished in prison?

When a child (Jihad Al Samie) is charged because of his political culture or when a teenager is charged with insulting the king on the social media, Twitter, while others' charges are blocking the streets or assaulting a security patrol for terrorism purposes, this means that the ruling regime follows an inclusive and organized targeting campaign for the Bahraini children. This targeting is a part of the wider campaign against the natives and the supporters of opposition.

The regime admits that children and teenagers are the most effective group participating in the protests against it. They are raised up, a generation after another, on hatred and opposing the regime's tyranny. Targeting this group is a part of the "purging" and "rooting up" conducted by the ruling regime against the Shiites in an open way since March 2011.

Since that date, these youth were neither needed to be agitated nor encouraged to demonstrate or face the mercenaries that occupy their neighborhood and fiercely implement the regime's authority on them. These children know that they have no future in the light of a system of sectarian privileges which allows the malicious persons to publicly publish their irritation from the Bahraini Shiites academic excellence in the newspapers. The government knows that exerting pressure and bearing down heavily upon the scholars will reach the university missions and being accepted in the specialty desired in the Bahraini University. Nonetheless, this narrowing will also affect receiving financial aids to study abroad!

Some of our children are raised up on cameras and the Internet. They document and read everything. They are aware of what is going on around them, thus they know that the regime won't ever control them or their fathers. We have to prepare our children to what they might be in the future!

Back to Jail!

At the beginning of our campaign, we wanted to reveal a different image of the Eid. This campaign affected the parents' children; some felt happy when we visited them to publish their son's story and others felt sad and could not but cry. We visited our leader's parents and other parents. We documented the arrest of their children. Work teams sent organized lists of the detained children's names. The mothers opened their hearts and painfully talked about what happened to their children. Everyone interacted; however, we know that our work won't exceed documentation and spreading the regime's injustice.

Perhaps the most dramatic scene to the parents of the detained children is tomorrow's morning; the "Back to School" morning, without being able to prepare their children as the others free children to be on their desks at schools.

Few days earlier, the case of the 11-year-old Jihad Al Samie was postponed to November 9, the coming, for not bringing him to the court. Hence, Jihad went "Back to Jail" instead of going "Back to School".

Before writing the Children's uprising outcomes in 2014

Today, before Bahrain Mirror harvests the violations at the end of the year in a book as it annually does, it wants along with the local and international organizations to keep this case always opened. Bahrain Mirror may not do anything more than solidarity and documenting campaigns that deliver the demands and opinions to all concerned people who can make a change. However, we tried to present this file in its real political aspects that sum up the long conflict between the ruling regime and the natives.

Bahrain Mirror not only aims at creating a central data base for the detainees, documenting the violation cases and creating an association that gather the parents of the arrested children and unifies their efforts. It aims at creating a studied and clear plan to face this danger that threatens a whole generation and a whole group of people.

With the beginning of the scholastic year, we continue our campaign for the sake of all the Bahraini children especially those lying behind the dictator prison's bars!


1- Commuting the sentence in the case in spot was only formal for the judge changed the classification of the crime form felony to misdemeanor to make the punishment "imprisoning for 3 year" instead of being "3 years in prison"!


النسخة العربية

التعليقات المنشورة لا تعبر بالضرورة عن رأي الموقع

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