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Saudi Arabia- Human rights defender Fawzan Al-Harbi summoned by police for questioning about his human rights activities

2013-05-08

On 6 May 2013, human rights defender, Fawzan Al-Harbi received a call from Al-Rawda police station  in relation to a warrant issued by the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution in Riyadh. They summoned him to appear on 11 May 2013.

Al-Harbi is the co-founder and deputy president of the Saudi Civil and Political Rights Association (ACPRA) and it's believed that the warrant is related to his human rights activities.

On 22 May 2012, Saudi authorities stopped human rights defender Fowzan Al-Harbi at the King Khalid airport in Riyadh and prevented him from travelling to Geneva in order to attend a human rights conference.

The Gulf Centre for Human Rights (GCHR) believes that the summoning of Fawzan Al-Harbi is directly related to his legitimate and peaceful activities in defence of human rights and specifically his extensive involvement with (AVPRA) which defends people's rights in Saudi Arabia. The Gulf Centre for Human Rights is very concerned that the escalation of repression against human rights defender Fawzan Al-Harbi forms part of an ongoing trend of harassment against human rights defenders by the government in Saudi Arabia.

The GCHR calls on the authorities in Saudi Arabia to:

1. Immediately Stop targeting and harassing human rights defender Fawzan Al-Harbi. The Saudi Government has a responsibility to meet its international obligations to protect human rights defenders in the country;

2. Immediately and unconditionally remove the travel ban imposed on human rights defender Fawzan Al- Harbi;

3. Guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in Saudi Arabia are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities without fear of reprisals and free of all restrictions including judicial harassment. 

The GCHR respectfully reminds you that the United Nations Declaration on the Right and Responsibility of Individuals, Groups and Organs of Society to Promote and Protect Universally Recognized Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, adopted by consensus by the UN General Assembly on 9 December 1998, recognizes the legitimacy of the activities of human rights defenders, their right to freedom of association and to carry out their activities without fear of reprisals. We would particularly draw your attention to Article 1 “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 ” and to Article 12 (1) and  (2):  “(1) Everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to participate in peaceful activities against violations of human rights and fundamental freedoms. (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.”