Tuesday, May 31, 2011(Maharat/IFEX) - 31 May 2011 - Free expression advocates from around the world gathered this week in Beirut, Lebanon, at the 16th IFEX General Meeting. Thirty IFEX members signed on to the following letter protesting the travel ban on Nabeel Rajab, president of IFEX member BCHR: We, the undersigned members of the International Freedom of Expression Exchange (IFEX), meeting in Beirut, Lebanon for the 16th General Meeting (GM) and Strategy Conference, call for the repeal of the travel ban enforced on Nabeel Rajab, president of IFEX member the Bahrain Centre for Human Rights (BCHR). On 29 May 2011, Rajab was once again prevented from travelling after he went to the airport to try to fly to Beirut to attend the IFEX GM. He was escorted from the airport and told he could not travel. He has tried unsuccessfully on several occasions to leave the country in the past few months. Rajab's family home has been attacked several times, including with tear gas and armed invasions. Other BCHR members have also been arrested, threatened with death and forced into hiding. On 1 June, the King of Bahrain has promised to end the state of emergency he imposed in mid-March to quell pro-democracy demonstrations. This would be a welcome occasion for the Bahraini government to end human rights abuses including lifting the travel ban on Nabeel Rajab so that he can join us in Beirut. Maharat Foundation (Skills Foundation) Australian Center, 6th Floor Al Maten, New Jdaydeh Lebanon info (@) maharatfoundation.org Phone: +961 3 612 413 Fax: +961 1 888 741 Aliansi Jurnalis Independen (Alliance of Independent Journalists) Arabic Network for Human Rights Information ARTICLE 19: Global Campaign for Free Expression Canadian Journalists for Free Expression Center for Journalism in Extreme Situations Center for Media Studies & Peace Building Centre for Independent Journalism Centro de Reportes Informativos sobre Guatemala Committee to Protect Journalists Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Freedom Forum Freedom House Free Media Movement Globe International Independent Journalism Center Index on Censorship International Federation of Journalists Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance Media Foundation for West Africa Media Institute of Southern Africa Media Rights Agenda Media Watch Mizzima News Norwegian PEN Pacific Islands News Association Pakistan Press Foundation Public Association "Journalists" Southeast Asian Press Alliance Writers in Prison Committee, PEN International
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