IslamNews – Bahraini security forces have beaten children and threatened them with rape and electric shocks after detaining them in protest-related cases last month, the anniversary of a 2011 pro-democracy uprising, rights groups said on Wednesday.
A government representative did not comment on the specifics of the accusations but told Reuters in a statement that Bahrain took protection of human rights “extremely seriously” and had a “zero-tolerance policy” of mistreatment in the justice system.
In a joint statement, Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the London-based Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (BIRD) said about 13 children aged between 11 and 17 were held in early to mid-February as authorities tried to dissuade protesters from gathering to mark the 10th anniversary of the uprising.
“Five children, arrested on Feb. 14-15, said that police from the station beat, insulted, and threatened them with electric shocks from a car battery,” the two groups said.
In some cases, the rights groups said, Bahraini police arrested children accused of burning tyres or blocking a road on the day of their arrest. Police also accused children of vandalism, planting a fake bomb and throwing petrol bombs in November 2020, they added in the statement.