Child held without charge in adult prison
Mohammad Mohammad 'Abdulnabi 'AbdulWasi, a sixteen year old Bahrani boy, has been held unlawfully in detention since 11 December 2012 in Dry Dock Prison - an adult prison in north eastern Bahrain.
Riot police raided the 'Abdulwasi family home in Sitra – an island east of Manama, the capital of Bahrain, allegedly failing to produce an arrest warrant at the time. The child was seized without the knowledge of his family who were in the family home at the time of the raid. Apparently money and other belongings were also confiscated by the riot police. The child’s family were completely unaware of his whereabouts until two days later when he phoned to tell them that he was being held at Dry Dock Prison.
Despite the failure of the Bahraini authorities to bring charges against him, he continues to be held in adult detention and has been prevented from seeing his family and lawyer. Under international law, anyone under the age of 18 is a child and children suspected of a criminal offence should be treated according to the rules of the juvenile justice system. Mohammad Mohammad 'Abdulnabi 'Abdulwasi should therefore not be treated as an adult before the law, and should be granted immediate access to his family and lawyer. Unless Bahrani authorities can demonstrate a valid reason for his detention, citing internationally recognised offence(s), he should be released immediately.
Please write immediately in English or Arabic to the authorities before 29 January 2013 using sample letter below.
King of Bahrain
Shaikh Hamad bin ‘Issa Al Khalifa
Office of His Majesty the King
P.O. Box 555
Rifa’a Palace, al-Manama
Fax: 00 973 1766 4587
Salutation: Your Majesty
Minister of Interior
Shaikh Rashid bin ‘Abdullah Al Khalifa
Ministry of Interior
P.O. Box 13, al-Manama
Fax: 011 973 1723 2661
Salutation: Your Excellency
And copies to:
Minister of Justice and Islamic Affairs
Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa
Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs
P. O. Box 450, al-Manama
Fax: 011 973 1753 1284
Salutation: Your Excellency
Your Majesty / Excellency
I am writing to express my concern at the treatment of Mohammad Mohammad 'Abdulnabi 'Abdulwasi, despite the fact that he is only 16 years old. I am concerned that he is being treated as an adult before the law, and not in accordance with international standards of juvenile justice. I therefore urge you to ensure that Mohammad Mohammad 'Abdulnabi 'Abdulwasi is treated in accordance with the rules of juvenile justice, particularly with respect to his detention.
Furthermore, I implore you to ensure that he is granted immediate access to his family and lawyer, and also protected from torture and other ill-treatment.
I urge you to disclose the reason for his arrest and to release him unless he is charged with a recognised criminal offence, in which case he should be held separately from adult detainees.
Unless the authorities can demonstrate a valid reason for his detention, citing internationally recognised offence(s), I beseech you to grant his immediate release.
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