Amnesty calls on Saudi Arabia to end travel bans of released activists
Saudi Arabia currently bans 30 activists from leaving the country after their prison sentences have ended.
According to Amnesty International, Saudi authorities must stop using travel restrictions against human rights activists, journalists, and government critics.
The London-based rights group underlined the predicament of 30 human rights advocates who were subjected to extended travel restrictions even after serving their jail terms in a campaign launched on Monday.
In a statement, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty's Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa, stated that "Saudi Arabian authorities' arbitrary use of travel bans against activists and human rights defenders reflects a bleak reality in the country, where dissenting voices continue to be ruthlessly silenced while leaders speak of progressive reform."
Maalouf detailed how activists who had human rights concerns and expressed those concerns were "victims of unlawful and punitive travel bans that effectively curtail their freedom of movement."
Raif Badawi is a blogger who was imprisoned in 2014 and released in March.
Badawi has been arrested since 2012 over charges of "going beyond the realm of obedience."
Following his detention, he was accused of, among other things, insulting Islam online. In 2014, he was sentenced to ten years in jail, a large fine, a travel restriction, and 1,000 public lashes to be administered over a 20-week period.
His first 50 lashes were administered in 2015, but the remainder was deferred owing to health concerns and worldwide outcry.
Several human rights organizations, including Human Rights Watch and Reporters Without Borders (RSF), have urged Saudi authorities to lift his travel ban after he has been separated from his family that lives in Canada.
Saudi Arabia is notorious for its harsh repression of journalists, activists, and political opponents.
Previous rounds of imprisonment have been extensively criticized by opponents and rights groups who accuse Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) of using anti-corruption feelings to eliminate possible competitors to the throne or anybody deemed a danger to his reign.