Child Imprisoned For Weeks in Bahraini Jail

11-year-old Ali Hassan has been released after spending several weeks in prison in Bahrain. The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) says that Hassan, who had to take his school exams while in jail, is one of the youngest to be detained during the pro-democracy uprising.

According to Al Jazeera, he was detained on May 13 near his home in the capital Manama by plainclothes officers and charged with “joining an illegal gathering.” Activists contended that he had simply been “playing the streets”; the Bahraini government took a very different view:

Bahrain’s chief prosecutor for juveniles, Noura Al-Khalifa, said in a statement on Sunday that Hasan was arrested on May 14 while blocking a street outside Manama with garbage containers and wood planks.

She said he pleaded guilty, admitting that he blocked the road repeatedly after police would clear the blockade, and that he was arrested on his third attempt to shut the road.

She claimed he confessed to have done that after a man accused of stirring trouble gave him and some of his friends three dinars, or about $8.

Khalifa only said that Hassan would be given the “sentence of a juvenile.”

Is the government in #bahrain afraid of a child? Why is 11 ye... on TwitpicThe BCHR has also reported that two 13-year-old boys have been detained since April. Bahrainis including activist Zainab al-Khawaja and a number of children have protested on Hassan’s behalf.

As al-Khawaja write on her Angry Arabiya Twitter feed, it has not been uncommon for Baharaini teenagers and children to be arrested and imprisoned, including 15-year-old S. Mohd Al-Abbar, 17-year-old Mansoor and 17-year-old Ahmed who was shot in the eye with pellets.

Since February of 2011, the Gulf island kingdom has been unsettled by protests, mostly among its Shi’ite majority population who have long described discrimination under the Sunni monarchy. Bahrain houses the US Army’s Fifth Fleet and is a US ally. American companies have recently began to sell arms to Bahrain again after suspending sales following last year’s protests, the arrest of hundreds, the imposition of martial law for months and a request for troops from Saudi Arabia to intervene.

Related Care2 Coverage

2011 ‘Tumultuous Year’ For Human Rights

Bahraini Activist Ends 110-Day Hunger Strike

US Resumes Arms Sales To Bahrain Over Protests of Activists


Photo of 11-year-old Ali Hassan from AngryArabiya

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Latonya W.
Latonya W.3 years ago


Kristen H.
Kristen H.3 years ago

...and how many little children have been housed in U.S. immigration detention camps, for months on end, and in jails, prisons and other questionable housing "arrangements" where they are exposed to rapists, child molesters and murderers daily? Yes it sucks and yes it must end. But can we clean the skeletons out of our own closets before we start passing judgment on other countries?

Alexandra Rodda
Alexandra Rodda3 years ago

They'll have to put their skates on to catch up with the USA in this regard.

Anna M.
Anna M.3 years ago


Heather O.
Heather O.3 years ago

Can someone remind me what century this is again? My freakin' hells.

Rose Becke3 years ago


Valarie Snell
Valarie Snell3 years ago


David Nuttle
Past Member 3 years ago

We live in a world where cultures, religions, assorted groups, and governments seek to gain and/or retain power via acts of brutality against their fellow man no matter their age, position, or circumstance. I find that putting youth in jail to generally be unacceptable. However, there are even more extreme methods of punishment for youth ... such as the Taliban's throwing acid in the faces of young Afghan girls simply because they want to attend school. We need to soon find ways to make humans humane.

aj E.
aj E.3 years ago


Troy G.
Troy Grant3 years ago

As enlightened Americans turn away from organized religion, bombed Islamists turn against Americans.