A Bahraini court has sentenced five children from the village of Al-Aker to three years in prison. This crime is among the most recent ongoing violations of the Bahraini regime against children under the age of 18.
The ruling of the First High Criminal Court came against the background of charges against children dating back to February 14, 2020.
The ruling was issued against children who are subject to the Child Correctional Justice Law, said human rights defender Ibrahim Sarhan. In a tweet, he said: “The latest law will not be applied until after six months, and that is why Bahraini courts are speeding up judgments against children.”
Meanwhile, the two children, Sayed Falah Syed Hassan and Sayed Reda Syed Baqer, are being presented to the Supreme Criminal Appeal Court today. Sarhan indicated that there are children under the age of 18, “The Child Correctional Justice Law will not be applied to them.”
A few days ago, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa ratified an issued Law 4/2021 on the promulgation of the Corrective Justice Law for Children and their Protection from Ill-Treatment, which has already been endorsed by the Shura and Representatives Councils.
The draft law, consisting of 89 articles, guarantees restorative justice, care and protection from ill-treatment for children.
It is expected to provide all support for children and ensure their reintegration into society, in accordance with international human rights standards, and the international treaties and agreements ratified by the kingdom.
Amnesty International has condemned the Bahraini authorities’ policy of arrests and systematic targeting of children.
Bahraini authorities arrested hundreds of children under the age of 18 years. Furthermore, authorities deprive arrested children of taking final exams or completing their studies, affecting their academic performance.
Bahrain is denying due process to children as young as 12. We call on the Bahraini authorities to respect its obligations under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) to which it is a state party, said Amnesty International.
According to Salam Organization for Democracy and Human Rights, Bahrain is neglecting to fulfill its duties towards children despite its ratification of CRC.
Salam Organization said that the Child Law No. 37 of 2012, according to Article 4, defines a child as a person under the age 18. But Bahraini penal laws still take into account the age of children as those under 15 years old.