Arab Today, arab today rights group urges bahrain travel bans rethink
Last Updated : GMT 04:26:05
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Rights group urges Bahrain travel bans rethink

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Rights group urges Bahrain travel bans rethink

Manama - Arabstoday

The Gulf European Centre for Human Rights (GECHR) has said it is acting on behalf of expats in Bahrain to investigate the Gulf kingdom for issuing travel bans in banking disputes. It said it was \"asking serious questions\" as to whether the system of travel bans, being used by international banks in Bahrain, is in compliance with the International Code of Banking Practice. Faisal Fulad, director general of GECHR, said in a statement: \"It is very concerning that any customer, who has a loan or a credit card with a bank in Bahrain, is at risk of being travel ban for non-payment - regardless of whether they have extenuating circumstances or not.   \"We believe this is a violation of human rights treaties signed by Bahrain, and does not comply with banking regulations, seriously jeopardising Bahrain as centre of excellence for the banking industry.\" Bahraini law allows creditors to apply to civil courts for travel bans to prevent residents leaving the country unless they repay outstanding personal or business loans. The law also allows travel bans against individuals in non-debt-related cases, including cases in which they face a lawsuit or a legal judgment. Bahrain has come under pressure to improve its rights record after it imposed martial law in March and called in Gulf troops to quell weeks of unrest amid mass pro-reform demonstrations. Fulad added: \"The banks are well aware that the Immigration Department refuses to renew the residency of someone with a travel ban, so they are actually stopping their customers from earning to pay them back.  This is totally nonsensical and is a further violation of human rights in Bahrain.\" A number of expatriate victims of travel bans placed on them by banks, have approached GECHR to complain about this violation of their human rights, he said. Fulad said a review of the current system was required that currently stops people from working to pay off their debt when the residency of a travel ban victim is refused.

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