Cairo 10 April 2012
The activist and human rights defender Sheikh “Mukhlif Shammari” said he was shocked yesterday when crossing King Fahd bridge on his way to Bahrain Kingdom, that the Ministry of Interior has imposed a ban on him from traveling for ten years and that it begun to be implemented since his release of prison last February. What surprised him was that he was not informed by the decision immediately after its release, knowing that the damage by the ban will not harm only him, but members of his family as well since he will not be able to accompany his sons to outside as required by Saudi law.
Shammari is a writer and defender of human rights, and one of those who always advocate for political reforms in Saudi territory, and was arrested in June 2010 on charges of “disturbing others” because of his writings criticizing the Saudi regime then was released on February 2012 on bail after dropping the charge.
It is worth noting that the arbitrarily travel ban on activists has become very common in Saudi Arabia, as the Interior Ministry issued an decision last month to prevent human rights activist Walid Abu al-Kheir of travelling for security reasons, in a move that is worrying human rights defenders about the future of human rights in Saudi Arabia.
ANHRI said: “It is clear that the travel ban on Sheikh” Mukhlif Shammari “is a punishment for his peaceful human rights activities and leading role in the enlightenment of Saudi society to reach as much as possible of democracy, and such action by the Saudi government is a clear violation of all treaties and international human rights conventions signed by the government.”
ANHRI added: “The work for human rights is a legitimate right and the harm and harassment by the government in various ways is sure an oppressive approach that has no justification.”
Therefore ANHRI is calling for cancelling the ban of Shammari and all the activists on lists of banned from traveling because human right to move freely inside and outside the country is of the most basic, and ANHRI demands the immediate cease of harassment of human rights defenders.
Also available in : العربية