Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights

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Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights
جمعية شباب البحرين لحقوق الإنسان
Founded 2005
Type Non-profit
Website Official website

The Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights (BYSHR) is a human rights organization of Bahrain founded in March 2005[1] which was active in the Bahraini uprising. The group "organises training workshops, monitors and documents human rights violations and participates in forming a regional network for young human rights activists in eight Arab countries".[2] Mohammed al-Maskati serves as its president.[3] The organization was found by Mohammed al-Maskati and Hussain Jawad (who also served as its Vice-President) among others.

Early history[edit]

The group's activities have included protesting for the freedom of Egyptian blogger Kareem Amer as well as reporting on domestic human trafficking in Bahrain.[4]

In June 2005, the BYSHR attempted to register as a non-governmental organization with the Bahraini government, but was refused. When the group nonetheless continued its work, al-Maskati was summoned to court in 2007 on charges of leading an "unregistered organization", which carried a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment. The International Freedom of Expression Exchange issued an appeal for a letter writing campaign on his behalf, describing the arrest as "just the latest example of the government using judicial measures to silence human rights activists".[4] Al-Maskati's trial was later postponed until 2009,[2] In June 2010, al-Maskati was found guilty and ordered to pay a fine of 500 Bahraini dinar. The Bahrain Centre for Human Rights protested the sentence, describing it as "a continuation of the Authority's policy in Bahrain to restrict civil society institutions".[5]

Role in the Bahraini uprising[edit]

In February 2011, Bahrain saw a series of large-scale pro-democracy protests as part of the international Arab Spring. The BYSHR were active at Pearl Roundabout in the capital of Manama, which quickly became a center for the protests.[6] Among the protestors' demands were a new constitution and the replacement of Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa—an uncle of Bahrain's king who had held the post since 1971—with an elected official.[7]

On 1 June, following the end of eleven weeks of martial law, the group participated in a series of coordinated protests across Bahrain, particularly in Shiite-majority villages unhappy with Bahrain's Sunni royal family.[3]


  1. ^ "About Us". Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights. Archived from the original on 11 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "Bahrain: Trial of human rights defender, Mohamed Abdul Nabi Al-Maskati, adjourned until 15 January 2009". Front Line Defenders. 11 March 2008. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  3. ^ a b Katherine Zoepf (1 June 2011). "Bahrain Ends Martial Law but Renews Crackdown on Protests". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  4. ^ a b "Take Action! Send a Message to Bahraini Youth Leader Facing Legal Trouble". International Freedom of Expression Exchange. 11 December 2007. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  5. ^ "Trialing the Human Rights Activist Mohammed Al-Maskati in Response to his Human Rights Work". Bahrain Centre for Human Rights. June 2010. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  6. ^ Ethan Bronner (13 March 2011). "Antigovernment Protesters Seal Off Bahrain's Financial Center". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 
  7. ^ Richard Spencer and Alex Spillius (15 February 2011). "Bahrain: protesters threaten Egypt-style permanent demonstration". 14 April 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2012. 

External links[edit]