Bahrain court orders 11-year-old protester monitored for a year
The 11-year-old Ali Hassan is accused of disturbing Bahrain’s security by participating in an “illegal gathering” near capital Manama. (File photo)
Thu Jul 5, 2012 2:54PM GMT
A Bahraini court has ordered an 11-year-old boy be monitored for a year after being tried on charges of disturbing security by taking part in popular demonstrations against the country’s monarch.
A government statement said the court ordered Ali Hassan does not need to go back to jail, but must be monitored by authorities for a whole year, AFP reported.
The boy was arrested on May 14 but was eventually released from detention in a juvenile care center on June 11. He will remain free but a social worker will visit him twice during a year, at six-month intervals.
Bahraini regime officials accuse the minor of blocking a street outside the capital Manama with garbage containers and wood plank, and claim Hassan has pleaded guilty.
According to Amnesty International, Hassan was moved "between several police stations for a period of about four hours and interrogated ... that during that time he was alone, he became hungry and tired and eventually confessed to accusations against him.”
The 11-year-old later withdrew his confession and said he accepted the charges “because police promised to release him if he did," the human rights group added.
Amnesty has denounced the child’s trial and called on Bahraini authorities to drop all charges against him.
Since February 2011, Bahrain has been experiencing popular protests across the country, especially the capital of Manama, almost on a daily basis. Brutal crackdowns by Saudi-backed regime forces and widespread arrests have failed to stop the popular revolution in the Persian Gulf kingdom.
The protesters are calling for an end to the violent suppression of demonstrators demanding the downfall of the ruling Al Khalifa family .