Posts Tagged ‘freedom of movement’

Omar Barghouti; Palestinian human rights defender faces restrictions on freedom of movement

May 14, 2016

Frontline NEWlogo-2 full version - croppedreports on 13 May 2016 how Israel refused to give a travel document and could possibly revoke the permanent resident status of Omar Barghouti.

 

 

 

On 10 May 2016, human rights defender Mr Omar Barghouti received confirmation of the official refusal by Israeli authorities to renew his travel document. Moreover he was informed that the refusal to renew the travel document is a first step in the eventual revocation of his permanent resident status. Omar Barghouti is a Palestinian human rights defender and co-founder in 2005 of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions [https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/en/profile/omar-barghouti]. Omar Barghouti has been living in Acre, Israel with his family since 1994, when he was granted  permanent residency. His Israeli travel document allows him to travel back and forth to Palestine to carry out his advocacy work related to the promotion of Palestinian rights. The permit must be renewed every two years, and was renewed regularly without any difficulty.

On 10 May 2016, Omar Barghouti received official confirmation that renewal of his travel document and re-entry permit had been refused by Israeli authorities. In April 2016, he was informed by Israel’s Interior Ministry, who has responsibility for immigration, that his resident status was under review by the Attorney General. Officials have stated that the revocation of his resident permit is related to his work and international travel advocating “for the boycott of Israel”. Without travel document, Omar Barghouti will be unable to freely travel to and from Palestine; should the resident permit also be withdrawn, he will be unable to reside in Israel, where he has been living with his family for 22 years.

Prior to this incident, Omar Barghouti was prevented by Israeli authorities from traveling abroad on several occasions including to two conferences held by BDS in California, on nonviolent and strategic action against human rights violations.

 

What Wikileaks reveal about Saudi Arabia’s methods against human rights defenders

June 23, 2015

On 22 June Ms. Samar Badawi, via the Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia [MHRSA], tells how the government fabricated stories to explain to the USA its travel ban on human rights defender Waleed AbuAlkhair. [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/saudi-arabian-human-rights-lawyer-waleed-abu-al-khair-wins-ludovic-trarieux-prize/]
He already was portrayed as an atheist, working for foreign agendas, receiving foreign funding, etc. Now, in one of the leaked WikiLeaks cables of the Saudi Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Interior tries to justify its preventing Waleed AbuAlKhair from traveling to attend the Democratic Leaders Program sponsored by the US State Department. After the Saudi ambassador in Washington received a call from the US Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Saudi Ministry of Interior fabricated a story that Waleed is facing a family suit because of his marriage and his conversion from Sunni to Shiite Islam. None of this was mentioned in court, when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for demanding constitutional monarchy, and the establishment of two human rights organizations.
for more information: samar.badawi1@gmail.com

Human rights defenders in Ukraine oppose forced mobilisation

February 12, 2015

In the context of the current conflict in Ukraine, the following notice, dated 11 February 2015, from the Ukrainian Helsinki Union is interesting:

Human Rights Defenders: Introduction of Certificate from Military Registration and Enlistment Office for Trips Abroad can Prejudice National Interests of Ukraine

The initiative of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, demanding persons liable for call-up to have the certificate from military registration and enlistment office to travel abroad and even to leave region is contrary to the Constitution of Ukraine and valid legislation, perpetrates human rights and can prejudice national interests of Ukraine.

The representatives of Ukrainian Helsinki Union assert: “The implementation of forced mobilization in no way will strengthen the defensive capacity of our country and will not make better anything in our Armed Forces, except the call-up statistics of military registration and enlistment offices. Yet, Ukraine is extremely interested in free movement of people, wares and capital. Panic about mobilization breakdown is more the product of information war than the result of real processes in the society. The President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin was the first one to state the forced mobilization in Ukraine. The contempt of freedom of movement policy must be ceased immediately. Provoked by Russian propaganda, this policy is apparently harmful for the national interests of Ukraine”.

via Human Rights Defenders: Introduction of Certificate from Military Registration and Enlistment Office for Trips Abroad can Prejudice National Interests of Ukraine :: helsinki.org.ua.

China Detains Activists trying to reach UN

September 19, 2013

While Iran has started to free some of its political prisoners, China does the opposite by detaining two prominent rights activists who were en route to Geneva ahead of a U.N. review of Beijing’s rights record. Beijing-based activist Cao Shunli was stopped at Beijing’s airport on 14 September and questioned by state security police, the overseas-based China Human Rights Defenders [CHRD] said in an emailed statement. On the same day, Guangdong rights activist Chen Jianfang was also intercepted at Guangzhou’s  International Airport.The activists, who have been incommunicado since, had been en-route to Geneva to attend a training course at the invitation of a Geneva-based rights group ahead of the U.N. Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review of China on 22 October. Chen, a farmer-turned-petitioner who has been repeatedly detained in illegal “black jails” and who served a 15-month term in labor camp in March 2010, said she was threatened with violence by airport police, who also tore up her plane ticket. Both women had been active in transparency campaigns around the U.N. review process, sending information requests, suing the foreign ministry, and staging demonstrations outside its gates in a bid to be included in China’s submission to the U.N. “In recent weeks, police in several Chinese cities have interrogated other activists and lawyers about the same training program and warned them about serious consequences,” CHRD said.

(Reported by Wei Ling for RFA’s Cantonese Service, and by Xin Yu for the Mandarin Service. Translated and written in English by Luisetta Mudie).

via RFA’s China Detains Activists Over UN Campaign.

 

Two Women human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia sentenced to imprisonment and travel bans

June 21, 2013

On 15 June 2013, women human rights defenders Wajeha Al-Huwaider and Fawzia Al-Oyouni were sentenced to ten months imprisonment to be followed by a two-year travel banhumanrightslogo_Goodies_14_LogoVorlagen Read the rest of this entry »

Chinese Human rights Defender Ilham Tohti placed under strict house arrest

March 29, 2013

On 21 March 2013, Uyghur human rights defender Ilham Tohti  was placed under strict house arrest at his home in Beijing. On 22 March, the human rights defender was due to travel to Hong Kong to attend an academic conference. Ilham Tohti is an academic who has been consistently outspoken on Uyghur rights in China. He has been detained numerous times as a result of his human rights work. According to UighurBiz, a website set up by Ilham Tohti, there are currently a number of plain-clothed men stationed outside the door of the human rights defender’s apartment who are preventing him from leaving the building or welcoming visitors. On 4 February 2013, Front Line Defenders issued already an urgent appeal when lham Tohti was prevented from boarding a flight bound for the United States at Beijing Capital Airport.Frontline NEWlogos-1 condensed version - cropped

http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/IlhamTohti

http://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/21525

Israel refuses to let HRD Shawan Jabarin travel to receive award in Denmark

November 30, 2011

Map showing the West Bank and Gaza Strip in re...

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On 29 November 29, 2011 Israeli authorities turned West Bank resident Shawan Jabarin, the director of the Palestinian human rights group Al-Haq, back at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan, citing a travel ban. Several NGOs, such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and B’Tselem, said that the Israeli authorities violated Jabarin’s rights in imposing the ban and have not produced any evidence that would justify continuing to restrict him from travel.

The travel ban would seem to be clearly linked to his human rights work as Jabarin was stopped since 2006, when he became director of Al-Haq, a leading human rights organization in the West Bank, while Israel had allowed him to travel abroad eight times in the previous seven years. The Israeli military previously claimed in court that Jabarin was an activist in the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, which Israel considers a terrorist organization, and that his travel abroad for even a limited period would endanger Israel’s security. However, Israeli authorities have not charged Jabarin with any crime or given him an opportunity to confront the allegations against him. The Israeli High Court of Justice has upheld Jabarin’s travel ban on security grounds, but did so based on secret information that Jabarin and his lawyer were not allowed to see or challenge. “It is hard to believe any claim that Jabarin’s travel to Denmark to receive a human rights award would harm Israeli security, the more so when any evidence is kept secret,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “While civil society groups recognize Jabarin’s courageous work, Israel is punishing him with a travel ban.”

The ban has prevented Jabarin from leaving the West Bank to receive a human rights prize from the Danish PL Foundation (Poul Lauritzen), participate in a European Union forum on human rights, and attend a Human Rights Watch meeting in New York City.  “The ban preventing Shawan Jabarin from traveling abroad to receive an award is emblematic of the arbitrary restrictions placed on Palestinian human rights defenders and civil society activists,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s MENA Programme Director. “It must be lifted, and the Israeli authorities must stop using unspecified security concerns to obstruct the work of Palestinian human rights activists.”  Nina Atallah, the head of Al-Haq’s monitoring and documentation department, will try to travel to the prize ceremony.

It is a pity that Israel,in this respect, is emulating Iran, which is the only country until now to prevent the MEA Laureate Emad Baghi to travel to his ceremony in 2009.
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