And once again Saudi Arabia shows just what a detestable, totalitarian government they have. They’ve now banned Samar Badawi, sister of imprisoned atheist Raif Badawi and wife of his also-imprisoned lawyer, Waleed Abu Al-Khair, from traveling to keep her from appearing at a human rights conference.
The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) is deeply concerned following the travel ban that has been imposed on human rights defender Samar Badawi, who works on defending people’s rights in Saudi Arabia, in particular the rights of prisoners of conscience.
On 2 December 2014, Badawi was informed by staff in the Passport Office at King Abdulaziz International Airport that she is not allowed to travel abroad anymore by an order from the Ministry of Interior, without any reason given or any prior investigations.
She was on her way to get a flight to participate in the 16th European Union (EU) NGOs Forum on Human Rights being held on 4 and 5 December in Brussels, Belgium. According to the EU, “The EU-NGO Forum on Human Rights is an annual conference that provides a venue for direct interaction and in depth discussion between representatives of global civil society and the EU institutions, EU Member States and international organisations on various topics related to the promotion and protection of human rights.” The theme of this year’s Forum is “Freedoms of expression on line and offline”.Reports confirm that the travel ban was ordered by the Ministry of Interior following her speech in September about the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva. Badawi appeared before the Council and called for the release of her husband, prominent human rights lawyer Waleed Abu Al-Khair, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this year.
Yeah, that’s the way you show the world that you aren’t a bunch of fascist assholes. But hey, they’ve got oil and they still mostly do the bidding of our government, so they know they can get away with being fascist assholes.