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article image11-year-old boy to be monitored by Bahraini authorities

By Paul Iddon     Jul 5, 2012 in Politics
Ali Hasan, 11, will not be jailed for allegedly taking part in anti-regime protests in his home country of Bahrain, but he will be monitored by the Bahraini authorities.
According to the Associated Press, Al Jazeera and CNN the boy may remain at home but he will be closely monitored by the authorities. He was one of the youngest protesters detained by the Bahraini regime since popular protests began on the island kingdom in February of 2011.
After a month of custody Ali was allowed to return home on June 11 to await his verdict. As previously reported by Digital Journal Ali was arrested last May and charged with "taking part in a public assembly aimed at disturbing security." Ali recounted what happened in an interview with Al Jazeera last month stating that he was simply playing with his friends the day after some anti-regime protesters blocked the street in his neighbourhood. He explained that "they [other anti-regime protests] came and blocked the street, and then left, so we went back out and played a game, and then some civilians came and took pictures of us. The next day we went to play on the high street, and then a police patrol came and chased us."
However, many international human rights groups have questioned the validity of the charge against him, Amnesty International has previously reported that the boy was forced to confess to the accusations leveled against him whilst under duress.
The judge has ruled that Ali is free to go home but will be monitored for the next year and will be visited by a social worker every six months.
His lawyer, Shahzalan Khamis has been quoted as saying she is unhappy with the decision stating that makes Ali's legal status unclear as well as "condemns him indirectly." She asserts the "boy is innocent and did not commit a crime."
However, Abdul Aziz Al Khalifa of the Bahrain Information Affairs Authority said to Al Jazeera that it was "incorrect" to believe the boy was simply playing, stating that he "was not only in custody for participating in an illegal gathering, but for his involvement in burning tyres and road blocks." Mr. Khalifa added that 'we have an obligation to the rest of the population of Bahrain to preserve law and order."
More about Bahrain, Bahrain uprising, Bahrain protests
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