Saudi Arabia Bans Human Rights Activist Travel

The government of Saudi Arabia is part of the American led coalition against terrorism. According to President Bush, the United States and its allies are committed to freedom and represent those who oppose tyranny. The president, apparently, is not that well informed about his close friends in Saudi Arabia who are committed to one goal–maintaining power and throttling anyone who opposes their dictatorial rule. The Saudi government announced it would not allow Abdul-Rahman Al-Lahem to travel to New York where he is to be honored with a Human Rights award for his fight to defend human rights in his nation. He has led the fight to defend Saudi citizens against arbitrary and unjust laws and actions.

Mr. Al-Lahem made it clear to Saudi authorities he will continue his struggle against their refusal to acknowledge that individuals were entitled to basic human rights. Last year, he challenged authorities over the notorious case of the “Girl From Qatif” who was sentenced to seven months in prison for being alone in a car who was not her husband or a male relative. She was attacked by two men who raped her.

Saudi Arabia has more in common with Muslim fundamentalists than in opposition.