Bahrain: Law No. 4 of 2021 regarding youths classifies as children, but the security and judicial agencies treat them as adults

Salam Organization for Democracy and Human Rights expresses its deep concern about the fate of the four children who were arrested illegally and arbitrarily and were treated by the security and judicial authorities as adults, the children did not benefit from Law No. 4 of 2021, which establishes special treatment for this group from the moment of arrest until the implementation of non-custodial sentences, decisions and measures, and the best interests of this age group are taken into account.
Terrorist Crimes Prosecution – Bahrain – suspends four children for 60 days in preparation for their trial before the Fourth High Criminal Court (which is concerned with terrorism cases) on two charges, the first of joining a terrorist cell and the second of criminal arson, after questioning them on the evening of Wednesday, September 15, 2021 (after working hours) and they are/ The detained child: Hassan Ali Ahmed Jassem Mubarak (15 years), the detained child: Yousef Yasser Ismail Hassan (17 years), the detained child: Jassem Muhammad Ali Ahmed (18 years), and the detained child: Salman Ali Salman Issa Hassan (19 years), The General Department of Investigation and Criminal Evidence (criminal investigations) arrested the first and second on September 12, 2021, the third on September 15, 2021 and the fourth on September 14, 2021 before referring the case to the terrorism prosecution on September 15, 2021. The lawyer for the detained child, Hassan Mubarak (15 years), attended the interrogation session at the Public Prosecution, and other children were not allowed to seek the assistance of a lawyer or one of their families during the interrogation and investigation.
The General Department of Criminal Investigation and Evidence (Criminal Investigations) raided the house of the child Hassan Mubarak at dawn on Sunday, September 12, 2021 and without judicial permission. Despite the insistence of the child’s parents to bring a judicial permission before entering the house, the security officer mocked them and entered by force. During the raid, tampering with the contents of the house, threatening the family, shouting at the child and isolating him in one of the rooms alone was accompanied by the presence of a group of officers and security men, Mubarak was transferred to the Criminal Investigations building and was not allowed to contact or meet with a lawyer for four days, and the criminal investigations refused to receive the child’s clothes and medicines. And the child remained unknown until Wednesday, September 15, 2021, when the Criminal Investigation Department referred the case file to the Terrorist Crimes Prosecution, and then his lawyer was allowed to attend the interrogation session. The child “Mubarak” appeared to be afraid, terrified, and very confused.

Salam for Democracy and Human Rights calls on the Bahraini government to conduct a serious and fair investigation into these facts, which confirm that the arrests took place without judicial authorization, the interrogations took place in the investigation building without the presence of a lawyer with the children, and the investigations of the children in the Public Prosecution Office without the presence of a lawyer or one of their guardians, as the organization also calls the government of Bahrain to deal with children in accordance with international obligations and local laws, in particular Law No. 4 of 2021.

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