16th of October 2012

We, the undersigned human right organizations demand the immediate release of Mr. Mohammed Al-Maskati, President of Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR). Today, 16th Oct 2012. Mr. Al Maskati was called to report to Al-Hoora Police Station on the charges of rioting and participating in an illegal gathering. His lawyers have related that he will be detained overnight and will be taken to Public Prosecution Office tomorrow 17th October 2012. It is important to note that during his participation and oral intervention in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) on Bahrain in Geneva, in the 21st session of the Human Rights Council Mr. Al-Maskati received continuous threats via anonymous phone calls due to his activism and participation at the Council ( http://byshr.org/?p=1178 ). He was threatened with death if “he smeared Bahrain’s reputation in Geneva”. Mr. Al-Maskati, and other prominent activists were also a target of a smear campaign run by a pro-government paper following their return from Geneva.

Mr Al-Maskati is a renowned human rights defender, an advocate of non-violence and a trainer in Digital Security for activists and we, the undersigned, view his arrest as directly linked to his participation in Geneva and his human rights activism. We urge the international human rights community and organizations to assist in sending an appeal to the Bahraini Government for the immediate release of Mr. Al-Maskati. We believe that the Bahraini government has been emboldened by international silence on its recent arrests and harassment of human rights defenders and may take inaction.

- Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) - Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) - Bahrain Forum for Human Rights - The European – Bahraini Organisation for Human Rights (EBOHR) - Bahrain Society for Human Rights (BSHR) - Bahrain Rehabilitation and Anti-Violence Organisation (BRAVO)