SALAM DHR: Non-custodial measures with children are the basis of justice.

Bahrain: After 978 days of implementing the Juvenile Justice Reform Law, what has changed?

SALAM DHR: Non-custodial measures with children are the basis of justice.


Detained children in Bahrain have long suffered from violations of their rights, including detention and imprisonment, which constitute a clear violation of the principles of the Universal Declaration on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and the rules of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Over the past decade, hundreds of Bahraini children have been subjected to human rights violations regarding detention, such as torture, unfair trials, and imprisonment in adult facilities. On February 14, 2021, Law No. 4 of 2021 was issued, which raised hopes for improving the human rights situation of children in the country, especially regarding criminal procedures and punishments. Child detainees do not currently benefit from the full implementation of this law, however, as a large portion of child detainees (183 as of writing) were excluded from Articles 30 and 87 of the legislation.

In the past two years, 182 detained children have benefitted from implementation of Law No. 4, some of whom were released through royal pardons while others were given alternative punishment programs or had their sentences commuted. One child currently remains detained: Mohammad Hasan Ahmed Ali Nasser. Nasser was arrested on August 28, 2019, at the age of 15 (born on August 3, 2003) and sentenced to 11-and-a half years in prison. He has served 5 years in Dry Dock Prison thus far, which exceeds the maximum limit stipulated for minors under Bahraini law.

Salam for Democracy and Human Rights (SALAM DHR) urges the Government of Bahrain (GoB) to:

  • Release Mohammad Hasan Ahmed Ali Nasser;
  • In preparation for Nasser’s upcoming trial session, scheduled for April 22, 2024, the GoB should consider the time served from his sentence and commit to applying the “Tokyo rules”; and
  • Introduce amendments to laws concerning children and take into account the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Administration of Juvenile Justice (Beijing Rules).

Date: April 18, 2024