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Teenager 'attacked' for refusing to riot.

A BAHRAINI teenager was reportedly attacked and nearly burned alive because he refused to take part in riots, a court heard.

The 16-year-old described how he was almost set alight when he defied one of his friends, who later forced him to take part in an attack

targeting police.

He was among nine people convicted by the High Criminal Court yesterday for attacking policemen in Bani Jamra.

He and three other teenagers were handed two-year jail sentences each, while the others, all aged in their 20s, were jailed for three years each.

All nine were found guilty of arson, possessing Molotov cocktails and taking part in an illegal gathering.

The 16-year-old told prosecutors during questioning that his friend, one of the defendants, threatened to hurl a firebomb at him because he refused to join rioters in November last year.

"On the day of the incident I received a call from one of my friends on my BlackBerry phone," the student said in his statement to the

Public Prosecution.

"He told me to keep a look out when they burn tyres and attack the police near a graveyard in Bani Jamra.

"However, I refused to join them and went out with my other friends instead.

"At 6pm that day I ran into him and he asked if I had changed my mind about the riot.

Attack

"I told him that my father did not allow me to join attacks on police.

"He then slapped me four times and I fell to the ground when he took a Molotov cocktail he was holding in his hand and told me that he was going to burn me alive.

"I started crying and he walked off and said that he was going to look for another person to cover my position in the operation.

"I then saw them while they set tyres ablaze and were attacking the police and I was standing 50m away from them.

Defence lawyers said they will lodge an appeal against the convictions at the Supreme Criminal Appeal Court.

noorz@gdn.com.bh

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:Jun 23, 2015
Words:358
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