383 children arrested in Egypt since uprising anniversary - ECCR

Sunday, March 17, 2013 8:29 PM 
Public funeral of street child shot by the Armed Forces, Omar Salah on February 15, 2013 - Photo from Facebook.

The Egyptian Coalition for Child Rights (ECCR) said on Sunday that 383 child were arrested since the anniversary of the January 25 uprising.

A report recently issued by ECCR states that around 157 children were arrested starting January 26 until February 16, 29 of which are less than 15 years old. 12 children are still arrested.

In addition, 226 children were arrested during the ongoing clashes near Cairo's downtown and when the security forces tried to clear Tahrir Square from sit-ins. 62 of these children are less than 15 years old and 99 of them are still arrested.

The arrest of those children contradicts Article 119 of Child Law which bans preventive custody of children. Furthermore, the detention of children under the legal age is contrary to the Egyptian and international law.

Moreover, Egypt’s Child Law requires that children who are accused of a crime to be handled exclusively by the Child Court.

Thirteen-year old Omar Salah, commonly known as the potato seller, was shot in February near the U.S. embassy by the armed forces, who claimed responsibility for the accident, saying it was not intentional.

"The children are still exposed to excessive violence in police stations and places of detention. They are held responsible for vandalism and hooliganism," said a statement issued earlier by ECCR to condemn the practices of the ministry of interior towards children.

The child rights group said that Egypt's children are subjected to violations on almost a daily basis, denouncing the silence regarding these violations, pointing that the government completely ignores them.

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