Demand Release of 13-Year-Old Detainee


Target: Shaikh Khalid bin Ali Al Khalifa, Minster of Justice and Islamic Affairs

Goal: Immediately charge detained 13-year-old boy with a legitimate criminal offense or unconditionally release him at once

Thirteen-year-old Salman Mahdi Salman was recently arrested while walking alone on the street. He was initially released but was then re-arrested, and although he has not been charged with any crime, security forces are trying to claim that he was masked and carrying expl0sives at the time of his arrest–contrary to eyewitness reports. Sign the petition and demand justice for Salman Mahdi Salman.

According to an Amnesty International report, Salman Mahdi Salman was walking by himself in the capital city of Manama during the early evening when he was “surrounded by members of the security forces who arrested him.” The report goes on to note that “there was no demonstration in progress in the street at the time,” a significant fact given Bahrain’s recent attempts to curtail or even completely prohibit protesting in the capital. The boy was released from custody at around 1 am the following day, but the next day police summoned him back to the station. When Salman Mahdi Salman’s family refused to bring him in, the police called and threatened to raid the family home.

Salman Mahdi Salman is now being held “pending investigation.” He has claimed that he was slapped during his interrogation, and that police tried to make him confess that he was wearing a mask and carrying a Molotov cocktail and a lighter when he was arrested.

Bahrain’s human rights record is dismal, and recent efforts to tighten old anti-demonstration laws promise to engender even more human rights violations. Tell the Bahraini government that the random arrest of a 13-year-old boy is the very epitome of unacceptable behavior. Sign the petition and demand justice for Salman Mahdi Salman.

Your Excellency,
Bahrain has long had a history of human rights violations, but one of its latest arrests–that of a 13-year-old boy named Salman Mahdi Salman–is the most outrageous one yet. I urge you to either charge Salman Madhi Salman with a legitimate, internationally acknowledgeable crime or release him to his family immediately.
According to an eyewitness, Salman Madhi Salman was walking alone when members of the Bahraini security forces surrounded him and took him into custody. Although he was released, he was called back into police custody the next day. When his family initially refused to hand him over, they were intimidated and bullied by police. Salman Madhi Salman is now being held for an indefinite amount of time “pending investigation.” The teenager claims he was slapped during his interrogation and forced to confess that he was masked and carrying a Molotov cocktail and a cigarette lighter at the time of his arrest. The eyewitness report does not agree with this version of events.
A 13-year-old boy should not be a political scapegoat and has no business being used by his own government as a warning example to political dissidents. I demand that you immediately charge Salman Madhi Salman with a crime if he has indeed committed one; if not, I demand that you let him go immediately and unconditionally. And I demand that you grant him–and all prisoners–contact with his family, access to legal representation, adequate medical care, and safety from torture and ill-treatment.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: llimllib via Flickr

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