Nouvel articleSAU 001 / 0809 / OBS 117 Obstacles to freedom of movement

Urgent Appeal

The Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, a joint programme of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) and the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), expresses its deepest concern regarding the following situation in Saudi Arabia.

Description of the situation:

The Observatory has been informed by the Arab Program for Human Rights Activists (APHRA) about the ongoing obstacles to the freedom of movement of Mr. Mohamed Saleh Al Bejadi, a Saudi human rights defender and supervisor of the website Monitor of Human Rights in Saudi Arabia-Al-Marsad.

According to the information received, on July 23, 2009, the passport authorities in Barida informed Mr. Mohamed Saleh Al Bejadi that he continued to be banned from travelling outside Saudi Arabia.

In March 2009, Mr. Mohamed Saleh Al Bejadi had been summoned to the Intelligence Police (Mukhabrat) department and interrogated about his relationship with Internet reports and protest activities which had called for democratic reforms and the release of detainees. On this occasion, his passport was confiscated. Since then, Mohamed Saleh Al Bejadi has been prevented from travelling.

The Observatory denounces these obstacles to the freedom of movement imposed on Mr. Mohamed Saleh Al Bejadi, which only aim at muzzling his freedom of expression and sanctioning his human rights activities. The Observatory also points out that Mr. Mohamed Saleh Al Bejadi was arrested on September 4, 2007 after calling through statements to foreign satellite channels and news agencies for a for a sit-in in front of the district governorate to call for the release of detainees. He was detained in solitary confinement without charge or trial until his release, on January 1, 2008, on the condition that he would not organise any fora or gatherings, nor contact any foreign press.

Actions requested:

Please write to the authorities of Saudi Arabia, urging them to:

i. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of Mr. Mohamed Saleh Al Bejadi;

ii. Put an end to any obstacle to Mr. Mohamed Saleh Al Bejad’s freedom of movement as well as of all human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia, and ensure in all circumstances that Saudi human rights defenders are able to carry out their work without unjustified hindrances;

iii. Comply with all the provisions of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights Defenders, in particular with its Article 1, which provides that “everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels”, its Article 6 (b) regarding the right “to freely publish, impart or disseminate to others views, information and knowledge on all human rights and fundamental freedoms”, as well as with Article 12.2 (“the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration”);

iv. More generally, ensure in all circumstances the respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and with international and regional human rights instruments ratified by Saudi Arabia.


· His Majesty King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, The Custodian of the two Holy Mosques, Office of His Majesty the King, Royal Court, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Fax: (via Ministry of the Interior) +966 1 403 1185

· Minister of the Interior, His Royal Highness Prince Naif bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz Al-Saud, Ministry of the Interior, P.O. Box 2933, Airport Road, Riyadh 11134, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Fax: +966 1 403 1185 (please keep trying)

· Minister of Justice, His Excellency Shaykh Dr Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Issa, Ministry of Justice, University Street, Riyadh 11137, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Fax: + 966 1 401 1741

· Mr Bandar Mohammed Abdullah Al Aiban, President, Human Rights Commission, P.O. Box 58889, King Fahad Road, Building No. 373, Riyadh 11515, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Fax: +966 1 461 2061. Email:

· H.E. Abdulwahab Abdulsalam Attar, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Route de Lausanne 263, 1292 Chambésy, Switzerland, Email:, Fax: +4122 758.00.00

Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Saudi Arabia in your respective countries.


Geneva-Paris, August 13, 2009

Kindly inform us of any action undertaken quoting the code of this appeal in your reply.

The Observatory, a FIDH and OMCT venture, is dedicated to the protection of Human Rights Defenders and aims to offer them concrete support in their time of need. The Observatory was the winner of the 1998 Human Rights Prize of the French Republic.

To contact the Observatory, call the emergency line:

· E-mail:

· Tel and fax OMCT + 41 22 809 49 39 / + 41 22 809 49 29

· Tel and fax FIDH + 33 1 43 55 25 18 / +33 1 43 55 18 80

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