02 Jun 2018 – 9:06

Unjust siege violates human rights: European Parliament

By Sidi Mohamed | The Peninsula

DOHA: The European Parliament has affirmed the human rights violations caused by the ongoing unjust siege on Qatar which started on June 5 last year.

The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has welcomed the decision of the European Parliament, which affirmed the human rights violations caused by the unjust siege imposed on the State of Qatar by the Saudi Arabia and other blockading countries.

qatar airways

Before this recent affirmation by the European Parliament, a number of global organisations have been pointing out these gross human rights violations committed by the blockading countries.

In November 2017, representatives from the United Nations’ Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) visited Qatar, where they met with some 20 governmental and civil society groups, as well as people who had been affected by the blockade. In January this year, OHCHR released report on siege of Qatar pointing out serious human rights violations by the Saudi-led quartet. In Qatar, the Compensation Claims Committee since it was formed on July 9, 2017 has received thousands of complaints (more than 10,000 ) from individuals and companies affected by the blockade.

The siege separated families and violated the rights of people to education, to work, to move freely, and their right of residency. For the second year, Qataris and residents are not able to perform Haj and Umrah and the losses of 40 Qatari companies operating in Haj and Umrah during the last and this year seasons are estimated at QR200m.

Most of the individuals complaints to Compensation Claims Committee are related to livestock, real estate, humanitarian cases, religious rites and many other types.

Regarding the issue of the European Parliament statement, the NHRC noted in a statement yesterday that the confirmation of the decision on the impact of the sanctions imposed by Saudi Arabia and other countries against the State of Qatar in the field of human rights at the local and regional levels, and the report’s content on the impact of the Gulf crisis on human rights issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in December 2017.

The resolution also affirmed the arbitrary detention and forced disappearance of Qatari national Nawaf Talal Al Rasheed, who did not follow the legal procedures in accordance with the statement of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, in addition to calling on the Saudi authorities to put an end to incitement to hatred and discrimination against all individuals and groups who are subjected to human rights violations by Saudi Arabia, including foreign nationals from other countries.

The NHRC noted this positive step by the European Parliament, which is in addition to the positions of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteurs of the United Nations on their condemnation of the unilateral measures taken by the siege countries of the blockade. Meanwhile, the European Parliament called for further measures and steps to condemn the siege countries and determine their legal responsibility for violations and redress of victims.

The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) also called on EU countries to support the European Parliament’s position and exert pressure to stop human rights violations resulting from the siege imposed on the State of Qatar.

The Compensation Claims Committee is chaired by the Attorney General and includes representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice as members with the possibility of coordination with several bodies in the State. The committee was established to protect the people’s rights.

It has succeeded to solve many problems of the students issues in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education and other authorities concerned.  Some students joined Qatar university and Qatar Community College and some transferred to neighbor countries depends on their desire.