COLOMBIA, Colombia — Colombia’s travel-ban law has drawn sharp criticism from human rights groups.
Critics say the law, which was signed by President Juan Manuel Santos, violates the country’s constitution and infringes on the right to free expression and association.
“It’s a mistake.
It’s a violation of human rights,” says Ana Maria de Souza, a Colombian lawyer and member of Colombia’s Committee for Human Rights.
“We’ve never heard of such a thing before.
This is not the way Colombia should be.”
The new law, signed on June 14, requires the government to notify foreigners about the country and its laws.
Under the law the government can impose temporary restrictions on certain groups, such as tourists and foreigners, and also impose travel bans for certain foreigners.
The law also imposes travel bans on individuals convicted of crimes or serious violations of the countrys laws and regulations.
It also requires authorities to submit information on suspected criminals to authorities.
Santos said on Thursday that he signed the bill after consulting with Colombian President Juan Antonio Samaras, Foreign Minister Ernesto Villegas and his attorney general.
He said the law was passed with the objective of protecting Colombia from terrorism.
In his decree, Santos said the new law was not intended to target groups such as Colombians.
“The aim is to ensure that Colombians are not discriminated against,” Santos said in a statement.
“And it’s important that we respect the rights of all Colombians.”
Human rights groups have called the law discriminatory, and say it violates the constitution’s guarantees of freedom of expression and assembly.
“It is outrageous to ban foreign nationals from visiting the country, and it is a violation not only of the law but also of international law,” says María Teresa Romero, head of the Americas Programme at Human Rights Watch.
“It also amounts to a violation under international law and the Colombian constitution of the right of free expression.”