“Amnesty” launches a campaign to call on King Salman to cancel travel bans for activists and members of their families

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – Amnesty International (Amnesty) announced the launch of a new campaign, entitled “#Undo the Travel Restrictions”, calling on the Saudi authorities to lift the travel ban on activists, writers, journalists and human rights defenders.

The organization said, on its website, that the Saudi authorities “use arbitrary travel bans as a tool to punish and control activists, writers and journalists by imprisoning them inside the country, or in the case of those living abroad, by preventing their families from traveling to them.”

She added that the campaign “documents the case of 30 Saudi human rights defenders who have been sentenced to prison after grossly unfair trials, with travel bans coming into effect once their sentences have expired. It also documents 39 cases of activists’ relatives who found themselves – without an official order or other forms.” Reporting – is also under a travel ban, which has effectively forcibly separated families.”

Amnesty launched an online petition on its website calling for its signature and calling on Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz to rescind arbitrary travel bans against activists, human rights defenders, and members of their families now.

The campaign referred to the cases of activists Loujain Al-Hathloul, Raif Badawi, Nassima Al-Sadah, Abdul Rahman Al-Sadhan, and family members of the detained cleric, Salman Al-Awda, adding that they are “only a few names in a long list of activists who have been banned by Saudi courts from travel.” She also indicated that travel ban decisions range from 5 to 20 years.

“The Saudi authorities’ arbitrary use of travel bans against activists and human rights defenders reflects a grim reality in the country, where dissenting voices continue to be silenced relentlessly while leaders speak of gradual reform,” said Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director of the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International. “.

She added, “Activists who have dared to express any form of criticism or opinion disliked by the country’s authorities have become victims of an illegal and punitive travel ban that effectively restricts their freedom of movement and affects fundamental decisions in their lives. The Saudi authorities must lift all forms of Prevent arbitrary travel, stop this retaliatory practice, and start respecting the right to freedom of expression and freedom of movement,” she said.

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