Report on UAE violations next month, says al-Marri
HE the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri has announced the launch of a comprehensive report next month, documenting violations by the UAE of the decisions of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the continued obstruction of citizens and residents of Qatar by the UAE, and the prevention of those affected from seeking legal recourse to regain their rights.
The violations come despite the Abu Dhabi authorities’ formal commitment to implementing the decisions of the ICJ in this regard.
The NHRC chairman also called on the upcoming Gulf summit to establish a mechanism for redressing and finding a solution to the suffering of the victims of the siege imposed on Qatar. He stressed that any decision coming out of the next summit will not succeed unless it focuses on the crisis resulting from the siege and puts an end to the ongoing suffering of the victims.
During a meeting yesterday with Michel Bachelet, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, HE Dr al-Marri called on the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCHR) to immediately and effectively move to take steps to stop the UAE’s violations, ensure full commitment by the Abu Dhabi authorities to respect the conventions and recommendations of international bodies and implement the precautionary decision of the ICJ on the cessation of discriminatory measures against the citizens and residents of Qatar.
He affirmed the readiness of the permanent committee to cooperate with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in all matters that would protect human rights and defend them regionally and internationally and to push for urgent and effective solutions to stop the suffering of thousands of families affected by the siege.
HE Dr al-Marri praised the prominent and effective role played by the UNHCHR in addressing the serious violations caused by the blockade of Qatar through its numerous reports and correspondence with the blockading countries, demanding their cessation of human rights violations and issuing the first official UN report that explicitly condemns such violations and calls for their cessation.
He also called on the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to take measures to ensure that the blockading countries comply with the findings of the technical mission of the high commissioner following her visit to Doha in November last year. This culminated in the issuance of the first official UN report condemning the violations of the blockading countries and urges them to stop “discriminatory and arbitrary” measures.
He noted that despite the warnings issued by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on the dangers of such violations, 11 special rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council and the Group on Arbitrary Detention sent letters to the blockading countries urging them to stop their violations and discriminatory measures against the citizens and residents of Qatar. The blockading countries continue to ignore the resolutions of the United Nations, the international community and human rights organisations, it has been observed.
The NHRC chairman called on the high commissioner to address the blockading countries and exert greater pressure to compel them to comply with the UN resolutions.
HE Dr al-Marri also discussed the issue of four Qatari nationals who are still subjected to enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention by the Saudi authorities. He called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to hold the Saudi authorities accountable for their whereabouts and press for their immediate release.
He conveyed to the high commissioner the suffering of the Qatari citizens detained and their fears about their fate, in the absence of any information about their whereabouts at present despite all the appeals made by their families and the National Human Rights Committee’s efforts concerning the relevant UN mechanisms. All the information requested for by the relevant UN bodies on the identity of Qatari nationals, victims of forced abduction and arbitrary detention, were provided.
He noted that the NHRC holds the Saudi authorities fully responsible legally for the fate of the four Qatari citizens and the psychological and physical damage they may cause. He stressed that the NHRC would not remain silent and would continue its actions and resort to all legal and judicial measures until they are released and redressed.
At the end of the meeting, HE Dr al-Marri handed over to the UNHCHR reports of violations committed in a year and a half since the siege started.
Regarding the Gulf summit, he said in remarks on the sidelines of the meeting with Bachelet that any talk about convening the summit and the decisions that could result from it would not be important if the suffering of the victims of the siege was not a substantive issue in the leaders’ discussions.
He said the priority of the agenda of the Gulf summit meeting in Riyadh should be to find concrete and urgent solutions to the tragedy of thousands of citizens and residents of the Gulf countries who continue to suffer violations resulting from the Gulf crisis, take immediate and binding decisions for all the Gulf states to bridge the gap caused by the siege and put an end to the suffering of the Gulf people due to the unilateral measures taken by some GCC states against a Gulf neighbour.
He added, “There is no doubt today that the people of the Gulf do not care much about the convening of the summit or not, as much as restoring the unity of the Gulf nations. This can only be achieved by open talks that start with stopping the arbitrary measures of the siege countries against the Qatar’s citizens and residents, through the adoption of urgent measures to redress the harm caused to the victims.” He reiterated that the upcoming Gulf summit could not be successful if the issue of crisis victims of the crisis was ignored.
He also stressed the need for the Gulf summit in Riyadh to produce strong and effective decisions and recommendations, including work on the establishment of a human rights system in the GCC that would be at the level of aspirations of the Gulf peoples as well as civil society organisations. He pointed that the current mechanisms adopted by the rules of procedure of the GCC have failed to find a solution to the one-anda-half-year-long crisis.
The NHRC chairman said the Gulf governments should draw lessons from the current crisis and adopt a new system that includes the establishment of effective dispute resolution mechanisms and a system for the protection of human rights to ensure that the Gulf citizens are not vulnerable to any political disputes or differences between the GCC states, as is the case in regional and international blocs and organisations such as the European Union. “We should not turn a blind eye to the failure of the Gulf and Arab mechanisms of human rights institutions, including the current system of the GCC countries, in defending and lifting injustice from the victims, in parallel with the inability of national institutions and human rights organisations to overcome political differences and find a solution to the crisis,” he concluded.
HE Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri during a meeting with Michel Bachelet in Geneva yesterday.