AN 11-year-old boy facing criminal charges of rioting and illegal gathering has been released from custody.
Ali Hassan Ali Mohammad Jassim, who was detained during a rally near his house in Bilad Al Qadeem last month, was being held in a care centre that deals with child abuse and delinquency cases.
He appeared at the Juvenile Court yesterday for the second time in a week and asked the judge to allow him to stay at home, saying he missed his mother.
"I put the garbage on the road but police cars just stepped over it and drove past so I did not disrupt traffic," he replied when questioned by the judge.
The boy also denied pouring oil on the road.
He earlier told prosecutors he received BD3 from a friend to put the garbage on the road, but later denied doing so.
A social inquiry report analysing the behaviour of the boy was presented to the judge during the hearing, which took place behind closed doors.
The child's lawyer, Shazlan Khamis, said he had merely copied the actions of two of his friends, who managed to escape from police, like any other child would have done.
She earlier wrote to prosecutors asking them to show mercy because of his age and claimed he could be sentenced to up to three months in the juvenile care centre, if convicted.
Human rights activists had also demanded the release of the boy, saying the charges against him were bad for Bahrain's reputation abroad.
Juvenile Public Prosecution president Shaikha Noora bint Abdulla Al Khalifa earlier said the child was at a rally and was warned twice to leave but he did not. So he was arrested.
She also expressed sympathy for his plight and said he would not be "blacklisted" or face any penalties because prosecutors did not want to ruin his future.
Shaikha Noora claimed the child and others had been used by nefarious groups who were paying them BD3 to take part in acts of sabotage.
The trial was adjourned to June 20 for the submission of defence papers.