Bahrain: Children sentenced in trial alongside adults
15-year-old Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al-Moqdad and 16-year-old Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman were sentenced to 10 years imprisonment on 4 April 2013 by The High Criminal Court in Manama, Bahrain.
The children were sentenced along with three other individuals, namely Naser Saeed Hassan, who also received a 10 year sentence, Hassan Abdul Jalil al-Ekri and Sadeq Khalil Ibrahim al-Haiki who were sentenced to 10 and 15 years respectively. A sixth individual was convicted in absentia.
They were convicted under Bahrain Penal Code and Law 59 of 2006 with respect to protection of the community against terrorist acts (anti-terrorism law) for “intending to murder”, “burning a police car”, “illegal gathering and rioting”, “throwing Molotov cocktails”, and “attempting to steal a police car”. According to one of the children’s lawyers their conviction was based on alleged confessions that they had been forced to sign without the presence of a lawyer or a family member, and which they recanted during the trial.
The children whose families were denied entry to the court room to hear the verdict will be transferred from Dry Dock prison in the capital Manama, to Jaw Prison for adults on the outskirts of the capital. Their lawyers will appeal the verdicts in the coming weeks.
Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman and Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al-Moqdad are under 18, they are children and should be treated in accordance with international rules and principles for juvenile justice.
Please write immediately in English, Arabic or your own language to the authorities expressing concerns about the treatment of the defendants. Please send appeals before 17 May 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 15-year-old Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al-Moqdad and 16-year-old Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman,
I am concerned that they have been tried as adults before the law, and not in accordance with international standards of juvenile justice. I therefore urge you to ensure that Ebrahim Ahmed Radi al-Moqdad and Jehad Sadeq Aziz Salman are treated in accordance with the rules of juvenile justice, particularly with respect to their detention.
I urge you to quash the children’s verdicts and to order a retrial in a court that adheres to the principle that all children must be tried according to the rules of juvenile justice. They should also be held in a detention facility for juveniles and not with adults;
Furthermore I beseech you to guarantee that the children along with Naser Saeed Hassan, Hassan Abdul Jalil al-Ekri and Sadeq Khalil Ibrahim al-Haiki, who were also sentenced on 4 April 2013 are protected from torture and other ill-treatment, ensuring that their allegations of torture are independently investigated and that statements obtained through the use of torture or other ill-treatment are not accepted in any proceedings.
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