23 Jun 2018 – 12:23
DOHA: Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has called upon the United Nations Human Rights Council to suspend the membership of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from the Council for their severe and systematic violations of human rights in particular against the people of Qatar.
The committee also called on the government of Qatar to resort to the UN Security Council to determine the responsibility of the blockading countries because of the illegal measures they have taken against Qatar which amount to crime, economic warfare and collective punishment.
At press conference yesterday in Geneva, the Chairman of QNHRC, Dr Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, said: “We call for the suspension of membership of the KSA and the UAE in the Human Rights Council in accordance to clause 8 of UN General Assembly Resolution 25160 of March 15, 2006 on the establishment of the Human Rights Council.” Al Marri also asked the Human Rights Council to issue a resolution against human rights violations resulting from the siege and take into account the appeals and reports issued by the Special Rapporteurs and the report of the technical mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
Urging the Special Rapporteur to take further action, Al Marri invited him to visit the State of Qatar and the blockading countries to identify violations and meet the victims and conduct a comprehensive review of the impact of the arbitrary measures on the human rights and the impact of the siege on citizens and residents of Qatar. Dr Al Marri welcomed Qatar’s complaint to the concerned committee for elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the complaint before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to determine the responsibility the UAE’s and compensation for victims.
The Qatari government has also been called to intensify its diplomatic efforts to seek a resolution from the UN General Assembly requesting an advisory opinion from the ICJ on the illegality of the arbitrary siege measures against Qatar. In addition to seeking support of specialized international center for treatment and psychological support to assess the extent of psychological damage to victims of violations resulting from the siege, especially on separated families, students, pilgrims who have been prevented from performing religious rituals in order to bring them as evidence to the courts and international organizations.
Al Marri (pictured) stressed the importance of prosecuting KSA by Qatar and those affected by the politicization of religious rituals and violation of the right to practice them and preventing Qataris from performing pilgrims.
Dr, Al Marri explained the impacts of the siege during the press conference pointing out that the National Human Rights Committee issued its annual report on the anniversary of the siege and confirmed the continuation of the violations so far and the victims are still suffering in silence despite all the statements issued by the UN organizations, statements of condemnation from international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation.
He pointed out that during the year of the blockade, the QNHRC monitored 4105 complaints, which included 12 types of violations whose continuation is still major challenge for the international community and it is time to move from condemnation to legal action to hold those countries accountable for their crimes.
He pointed out that since the beginning of the siege, the siege countries have built their strategy to deny violations and to question all international statements and reports, even they tried to accuse the international organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and alleging that they were being financed by Qatar.
“Unfortunately these countries (siege countries) are members of the Human Rights Council,” Al Marri added.
He said that the unilateral measures taken by the siege countries had caused a wide range of violations of human rights; civil, political, economic, social and cultural, and that the actions taken by the blockading countries were equal to the crime of aggression.
“The siege is a punishment to Qatari residents and the citizens of the GCC countries and has been used as a tool for political pressure and a means of managing political differences.”
He also said that the countries of the blockade have tried during the siege crisis and after the failure of the policy of denial and treachery, to create new tricks represented by establishing national mechanisms and committees and hotlines to deal with emergency humanitarian situations. “But the international report revealed their lies and the lack of credibility of these countries and their seriousness in finding a solution to the crisis.”
“The illegal measures of discrimination can be amounting to the crime of racism and its purpose in the economic, commercial and investment fields is targeting and striking the infrastructure of Qatar’s national economy and damaging the economic rights of individuals and communities which is a dangerous precedent that amounts to the crime of aggression and economic war,” he added.
“The the annual report of the siege violations on Qatar confirmed that there is no response from the siege countries to address and stop the escalating violations and that the continuation of the tragedy of the separated families will greatly disrupt the social fabric of the Gulf. It also violates the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and The Convention on the Elimination of All Racial Discrimination,” he said.
“We can not allow the Berlin Wall to be built in the 21st century, and the dismemberment of families like what happened with the two Koreas,” he added.
Al Marri added that our presence in this international forum is to convey the suffering of children, women, disabled people and workers affected by the siege and to address the free world for more pressure on these countries. “The decisions of the International Court of Justice are mandatory and the Security Council may intervene to impose them if the UAE refused.”
Al-Marri explained that there is a stage in which the court is demanding from the UAE to stop the violations as a precautionary or preventive measure especially for serious cases. “The next stage is to look into the issue of the complaint and to decide on it and to approve the compensation. The court may agree on the amount of compensation. Obstacles to the agreement on the amount of compensation and in the absence of the parties to reach an agreement, the court determines the amounts of compensation.”
“I repeat here that the action taken by Qatar against the UAE at the International Court of Justice was done under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in accordance with Article 22, and the UAE didn’t pay attention to it unlike other countries of the siege. We are now exploring and studying all other international procedures and agreements to hold these countries accountable.”