At least 607 children were subjected to various forms of torture by Bahraini authorities while in detention over the past decade, a new Al Jazeera investigation reveals.
The findings of the programme were based on leaked judicial reports as well as testimonies from children who described being threatened and, in some cases, physically abused during interrogations.
These interrogation sessions were often carried out without the children’s parents or their lawyers present, according to documents from the Bahraini public prosecution that were obtained by the programme.
Sources in the prosecution’s office, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Al Jazeera there are more than 150 children currently detained in Bahraini prison facilities.
The investigation found that a handful of statements provided by children were changed to accept charges brought against them after initially denying any wrongdoing, supporting claims of having been verbally and physically abused by authorities to forcibly extract confessions.
In one recorded statement obtained by Al Jazeera, a young man who has been held inside a prison facility since he was 16 years old spoke about solitary confinement. He said those who are taken into solitary are often chained to the bed or have both their hands and feet cuffed.
“They often cannot shower or change their clothes,” the detainee said in the recording.
The programme also reported at least 193 children received prison sentences between 2011 and 2021. Some were given life terms, according to the findings.