Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The involvement of children in violence during ongoing clashes between protesters and police in Egypt should be addressed because it is against international norms, say local and international child rights activists.
"I have seen hundreds of children leading the fight against military and civilian policemen in violent clashes across the nation over the past months," Mahmoud al-Badawi, a lawyer and the chairman of local NGO Egyptian Association for the Assistance of Juveniles and Human Rights, told the UN news service IRIN.
Children were caught up in deadly clashes between demonstrators and military policemen guarding the Cabinet and Parliament buildings in central Cairo on December 17. Some were seen hurling stones at the police and setting public buildings on fire. Some children were injured, others were killed in the violence, which has persisted since protests began against ousted president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.
Children were also caught up in deadly clashes near Cairo's Tahrir Square on November 23. Most of those children involved in violence live on the streets.