Bahrain protesters accuse government security forces in 14-year-old’s death
MANAMA, Bahrain - Bahraini security forces clashed with antigovernment protesters after morning prayers yesterday, and a 14-year-old boy died after being hit by a police tear gas canister, human rights activists said.
The activists blamed police for the death of Ali Jawad Ahmad, who was in the crowd of protesters in the oil hub of Sitra.
The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights cited witnesses as saying the boy died after being hit by a tear gas canister fired at close range by police.
Bahraini officials confirmed a 14-year-old was killed but gave no other details.
A statement by the Interior Ministry said there was no reported police action in Sitra at the time the boy’s death was reported. The statement added that an investigation was ordered and posted a $26,600 reward for information leading to a definitive finding.
Isa Hassan, the teen’s uncle , said police overreacted when confronted by a small group of protesters after morning prayers marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan.
Hassan said the tear gas was fired from about 20 feet away directly at the protesters.
“They are supposed to lob the canisters of gas, not shoot them at people,’’ he said at the funeral for the boy. “Police used it as a weapon.’’
In a report late yesterday, Bahrain’s official news agency said the autopsy showed a “neck injury was the cause of [the boy’s] death, as there were fractures in that area causing bleeding around the spinal cord.’’ The report by the Bahrain News Agency said that the youth had bruises on his chin, face, right hand, pelvic area, and knees.
More than 30 people have been killed since protests began in February.