A Letter to President Barack Obama From Jehad Al-Hubaishiís Father: Jehad & Ebrahim: Child Political Detainees In Bahrain
2015-05-13 - 7:08 p
Monday, May 4, 2015
Dear President Barack Obama,
My name is Sadeq al-Hubaishi, father of Jehad al-Hubaishi, who was arrested when he was only 16 years old and joined over 200 child political detainees currently held in Bahraini prisons. I write to you this letter not only on behalf of my son, Jehad, but also his friend Ebrahim al-Meqdad, who was arrested at the age of 15 and tried over the same case along with Jehad, and other child political prisoners in Bahrain.
Jehad and Ebrahim were arrested while participating in a peaceful protest when they were 16 and 15 years old, respectively. During interrogation, they were humiliated, abused, subjected to beatings, and forced them to confess to crimes they did not commit. Jehad and Ebrahim were not allowed to contact us, their families, nor were their lawyers allowed to attend the interrogations. However, they were tried by the criminal court, under the terrorism law, despite their young age. Bahrain's judiciary handed down a 10-year jail sentence to both Jehad and Ebrahim. The conviction was based on testimonies extracted under duress and conflicting testimonies of prosecution witnesses, which made the case baseless and void. While in detention, both children were subjected to ill-treatment and in some occasions even torture.
Many human rights organizations condemned the Government of Bahrain for arresting and sentencing Jehad and Ebrahim, including the US State Department in 2014. Both juveniles have been in detention for more than two years now and are being deprived of their basic rights, especially their right to an education. Since their arrest, they were unable to continue their studies due to the many obstacles placed by the concerned authorities in Bahrain. This makes it nearly impossible for detained children to pursue their education.
On the behalf of all child political detainees, I hope you will take serious steps to work on these children's cases and have them released. I send you this letter since you have always supported and championed human rights. I am confident that you will take the necessary steps to address my son's issue, as well as his friend's, and the cases of other children.
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