DUBAI // Two teenagers were jailed yesterday for stabbing a 13-year-old boy to death in a crime that shocked the nation. Ali Mohammed Hassan died from multiple stab wounds after a street brawl in March. His killers left him bleeding on the pavement outside his home in Rashidiya. The murder prompted a review of juvenile crime prevention, an admission that schools needed more social workers, and new moves by police to stop young people carrying weapons.
Yesterday the Dubai Juvenile Court convicted H A, 16, and A M, 17, of premeditated murder. They will serve 10 years and five years respectively in juvenile detention centre. Ten years is the maximum sentence under federal juvenile law for children aged over 7 and under 18 convicted of a crime that carries the death penalty or life imprisonment. Three other boys - A A, 15, S H, 14, and A H, 15 - were referred to a juvenile reform centre for their roles in the crime, and put on probation until they reach adulthood. All five boys convicted are Emirati, as was their victim. Presiding Judge Omar Karmastagy also ordered that the civil claim filed by the victim's family be withdrawn, because a civil compensation claim cannot be filed in a juvenile court case. The three boys referred to the reform centre will essentially be told how they can live their lives, according to the case judgment document. The centre will determine where they can and cannot go and where they can and cannot work, and will rehabilitate them through educational programmes. On the night of the murder, a police officer heard a scream outside his house and found Ali lying in a pool of his own blood. He rushed the boy, who was still alive, to the Rashid Hospital. He had three stab wounds in the left side of his back, three in the left shoulder, three in the left side of his chest, one in his stomach and one in his upper chest. He died later from his wounds. The court found that H A stabbed Ali in a premeditated manner while A M urged him on. The two boys were also convicted of assaulting and causing grievous bodily harm to Omar Mohammed Murad, Ali's older brother, and his friend Suhail Issa Ibrahim. A A, S H and A H were convicted of conspiring and enticing H A and A M into murdering the victim and assaulting his brother and friend. A H gave the knife used as the murder weapon to H A, and S H carried a wooden plank that was used in the assault. The murder created shockwaves within Emirates society. Zayed al Shamsi, a lawyer who is a member of the Emirates Human Rights Association, said last March that Ali's death had forced authorities to take another look at efforts to prevent juvenile crime, including a review of the Ministry of Social Affairs youth programmes. The Knowledge and Human Development Authority, responsible for schools in Dubai, admitted after the crime that there were too few social workers in schools and vowed to work towards solving the problem. Police also said they would take major steps to stop juveniles from carrying knives and other weapons. The victim's brother, who had said he wanted the maximum punishment to be imposed on his brother's killers, said he accepted the verdict. Eissa al Humaidan, the Dubai attorney general, said the murder was atypical of Emirati society. "Although the defendants and the victim are very young, investigations revealed that the crime was committed with a lot of vengeance and force," Mr al Humaidan said. "Such crimes have to be dealt with in a resolute manner by the judicial authorities and society has to take every precaution to stop such crimes taking place." @Email:email@example.com