14-year-old protester killed in Bahrain

Mahmoud Mohsen, a 14-year-old child from Sitra, has been killed in Bahrain after being shot from close range by Police. Mohsen was taking part in a protest earlier today in Sitra, to the south of Manama, following the death of an activist last week in an unexplained explosion.

According to Al Wefaq National Islamic Society, Mohsen was shot at from a very close range in the chest using a “bird shot gun”, also known as “buck shot”. The weapon is a regular feature of policing protests in Bahrain, with at least 11 people having died in the past 3 years from its use and many more injured.

Whilst dozens of youths have been killed since 14th February 2011, Mohsen is one of the youngest. Ali Alshaikh, another 14-year-old from Sitra, was killed in August 2011 after being hit by a tear gas canister.

The Interior Ministry has said an investigation is under way.

However, in a statement Sheikh Ali Salman, Secretary General of Al Wefaq, said “We don’t need an investigating committee to establish the cause of death, when it is clear he has been shot in head and chest.” He added, “This child has caused no danger on you (the authorities), and this is a crime.”

The Bahrain Justice and Development Movement condemn the targeting of children in Bahrain, both with the use of weapons, mass arrests and in the eyes of the law. Such deaths will continue to occur in Bahrain until the heavy handed and repressive treatment of protesters. In direct contravention of human rights, is stopped.

The death of Mohsen is a further step away from the security détente needed to ensure a positive environment can take place for talks between the opposition and the authorities. This tragedy is yet another setback in the reaching progress for a political solution in Bahrain.

Picture of the body of Mahmoud Mohsen after death (warning graphic content)

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