Saturday, November 21, 2015

In Solidarity with Mohammed Al-Maskati: Appeal for his freedom and personal safety

"Solidarity is no longer a question of altruism but of survival." - Rosa María Payá Acevedo

Human rights defender Mohammed Al-Maskati (Frontline Defenders)
Yesterday, received a shock while looking for a report on Cuban human rights defenders on the website Frontline Defenders a familiar face appeared on their website. It said that Mohammed Al-Maskati was facing an upcoming verdict on December 22, 2015 for illegal assembly.

 I'd met Mohammed, then President of the Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights, in Egypt during the parliamentary elections back in January of 2012 and recorded two statements: one in solidarity with free Cubans and another outlining the situation in Bahrain at the time. Frontline Defenders provided the following background information on Mohammed's current plight:
Mohammed Al-Maskati has been repeatedly subjected to harassment and intimidation in relation to his human rights activism and Front Line Defenders has previously issued a number of urgent appeals on behalf of him. The human rights defender received death threats in 2011 and 2012. On 22 October 2013, the Ministry of Interior accused him of “inciting hatred against the regime” in relation to a speech he made on 8 September 2013 in the city of Jidhafs in which he discussed human rights and international legal mechanisms. He was released on the condition that he sign a declaration stating that he will present himself before the public prosecutor at any time.
In his message to Cubans Mohammed expressed his solidarity for Cubans and a revolution that would do away with the Castros and usher in democracy, freedom and justice.

Below he described the situation in Bahrain which included that the regime was killing and torturing the opposition and he made a call for concrete action by people of good will around the world.

Recalling Jan Patočka's observation that "the solidarity of the shaken can say ‘no’ to the measures of mobilization that make the state of war permanent" I strongly condemning the upcoming sentencing of Mohammed Al-Maskati, whose conviction is solely in retaliation to his nonviolent human rights activism and defense of human rights in Bahrain. and expresses its deep concerns at the systematic intimidation and harassment against human rights defenders in Bahrain. 

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