From the Bahrain Center for Human Rights:
As young as 5 years old children are targeted by Bahraini riot forces
14 Sep 2012
Just weeks after approving a new law on childrens’ rights on 8 Aug 2012  the violations against children in Bahrain have escalated seriously. At least 10 children have been killed since last year, 100s were tortured and beaten and hundreds arrested and detained, even as young as 9 years. Other children were emotionally traumatized witnessing one or both of their parents killed, violently beaten, arrested and detained for months or seriously injured. They have also been suffering from the regime’s collective punishment procedures, such as randomly breaking into houses and the extensive use of teargas. …
Photo: Abrar Omran is only 8 years old. She was summoned by the Ministry of Interior. She is innocently smiling to the camera, making victory sign and holding her summon paper to the camera.
More than 80 children are in prison at present. Schools just opened while these children are in prison for false political charges. At least three minors have received very harsh sentences of up to 15 years imprisonment and are currently serving in the central prison of Bahrain. These sentences were handed down by a military court which has been criticized for its general incompetence, conducting trials with insufficient grounds for prosecution, and a willful ignorance of the torture allegations brought forth by the defendants. Minors below the age of 15 are not criminally responsible in the eyes of the law in Bahrain, however, they are often being arrested from areas of protests and are being detained for several weeks.
The detention of children without any good reason, in the absence of a conviction for a crime, and against their interest as a student is contrary to several articles of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including Article (3): “In all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration.” , Article (37): “States Parties shall ensure that: (b) No child shall be deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. The arrest, detention or imprisonment of a child shall be in conformity with the law and shall be used only as a measure of last resort and for the shortest appropriate period of time”.
Excessive use of force
Ahmed Mansoor Al Naham, a 5 year old boy, was helping his father run his fish stall in Al Dair village in Bahrain, when they were attacked and shot at by riot police. The father tried to save his child by shielding him with his body. However according to BCHR members who documented the case and met witnesses, Ahmed and his father were shot at purposely twice with a shotgun from a close range . Ahmed was injured with shotgun pellets in different parts of his body including his eye which caused bleeding. He was then taken to the Intensive care unit (ICU) at Salmaniya Hospital. On Thursday 14 June, he was transferred to Bahrain Defense hospital before being transferred again to a hospital in Saudi Arabia. Doctors’ attempts to save Ahmed’s eye failed. At the young age of 5, Ahmed has forever lost sight in one of his eyes. On 20 August 2012, Ahmed was taken to Ireland for treatment  . His family sent his medical report to doctors in Ireland prior to their travel and were given some hope. The Ministry of Interior (MOI) has admitted in their statement regarding the incident that they had shot at Ahmed and his father.
British diplomatic efforts on the Bahraini crisis have not worked out and the only way forward to stop human rights violations in the Gulf kingdom is to initiate a discussion on diplomatic and economic sanctions, Maryam al-Khawaja, activist and acting president of the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR), told IBTimes UK in an exclusive interview: here.