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Authorities reject application to establish rights organisation

(ANHRI/IFEX) - Cairo, 28 January 2012 - ANHRI condemns Saudi Arabia's persistent violation of the basic rights and freedoms of its citizens. The Saudi authorities rejected an application submitted by rights activists to establish a human rights organization, claiming that their objectives are incompatible with the statute of associations and charities.

A group of activists submitted the application in December 2011 to the Minister of Social Affairs, requesting an official license to establish the Justice Center for Human Rights. However, the Director General of Social Affairs in the Eastern Province issued a formal response rejecting the request and refusing to provide a license, allegedly due to the incompatibility of the organization with the statute for associations. The activists refused this justification and submitted a grievance stating that the Center's objectives are consistent with article II of the statute. They have also called on the Minister of Social Affairs to repeal the rejection and approve their license.

“The Saudi government consistently violates the basic rights and freedoms of its citizens, especially freedom of expression. It vehemently gags activists and restricts civil society. By rejecting the application submitted by the Justice Center for Human Rights, the Saudi government denies the activists' right to organization and peaceful expression of opinion in a lawful framework,” said ANHRI.

“The Saudi government has to put an end to its intransigence and disrespect for laws. It has to allow its citizens to exercise their legitimate rights, consider the grievance of the Justice Center for Human Rights, and provide the license required for it to operate. It is time for the Kingdom to stop its ongoing hostility against human rights and freedoms,” added ANHRI.

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