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BCHR fears for life of imprisoned minor

(BCHR/IFEX) - The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR) is alarmed and greatly concerned for the wellbeing of Ameer AbdulSamad Fathi (15 years old). Ameer was arrested at five in the morning on 2 January in his home. He suffers from a chronic and life threatening illness that requires that he be on continuous medication and monitored while sleeping due to a risk of suffocation. Because of the seriousness of his condition, bloggers have named this child "the next martyr."

After reading Ameer's medical file, a doctor told BCHR that "[a]mongst other things, Ameer suffers from severe obstructive sleep apnea, which is a condition that can cause a person to suffocate suddenly while sleeping or lying down and requires urgent oxygen support using breathing machines that can only be found in specialized and fully equipped hospitals. The seriousness of his condition lies in the fact that deterioration can happen suddenly and without any warning. Ameer also suffers from a dysfunctional bladder and has difficulty breathing. The presence of Ameer in prison puts his life in danger."

Ameer's arrest was a part of mass arrests that happened on 2 January, targeting many children under 18 years of age in Muharraq. They were arrested without warrants and accused of illegal gathering and incitement. According to information received by BCHR, there were no demonstrations in that area in the period in question.

Ameer was not present for his interrogation at the public prosecution. When asked by Ameer's parents why he had not been present, a police officer responded: "We beat him so badly that he couldn't make it." Ameer's parents have been going to the prison where their son is being held daily hoping to convince prison guards to take their son's medication but to no avail.

BCHR demands the immediate release of Ameer AbdulSamad Fathi and will hold the Bahraini regime responsible for any deterioration of his health.

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