Judge Fawaz Al Jatal, member of the NHRC stress the keenness of the NHRC on rehabilitation of persons with special needs and their training to practice their electoral rights in terms of candidacy or election.
As part of the role of the Committee on monitoring elections of the NHRC, Al Jatal said in a lecture given to the Qatar Cultural and Social Center for the Deaf that the NHRC represented by the chairman, Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri is ready to meet all the needs of persons with disabilities in all stages of the electoral process, facilitate their movement, and provide complete confidentiality of the voting process; the NHRC is a supervisory authority on the conduct of the electoral process in all its stages. Al Jatal added We do not want this group to distance themselves from society, however we want the electoral process and their participation to be a way to integrate them into the society because they are entitled to the same rights as other citizens. If a deaf citizen wants to stand as a candidate in elections, his program should not support a certain category, however It should serve all segments of society. Al Jatal calls on the need to learn to use sign language so that everyone understands the language which in turn facilitate communication and integration into the society. Al Jatal pointed out that political rights are inherent rights endorsed by the Constitution, they have not come all at once, however they passed through long stages of development. He called for the need to strengthen the rights and freedoms values in a democratic legal system, he added that the rights to vote and nomination is endorsed in the Qatari Constitution in Article 34 which stipulates that “all citizens are equal in public rights and duties” and Article 42 which stipulates that the State shall ensure the right of citizens to vote and to be elected in accordance with the Law. He is pointed out that the most important requirements that should be met in the candidate to be a Qatari national citizen, or has gained citizenship in Qatar for more than 15 years, to be over the age of 18, has no criminal record, unless rehabilitated, Not employed in the armed forces or police. He said that The deaf has specialized centers and constituencies so they can be provided with all their special needs.
Mr. Jaber Al Hwail, Director of the Legal Affairs Department at the NHRC stressed the NHRC’s cooperation with the Center for the Deaf through providing educational lectures and rehabilitation to candidates of the next election. He invited the center to visit the NHRC to get information about its role, terms of reference, receive lectures related to their rights and duties, and stated that the NHRC is ready to provide all their needs in rehabilitation and training. He said: We want you to be always prepared to fight the next election and strongly impose your sign language in your communities. He added: you should convince voters with programs they really in need of in their constituencies and get the support of sign language interpreters, and be sure voter vote on the basis of the services that can be provided to them not any other criteria.
Members of Qatar Cultural and Social Center for the Deaf have demanded submitting their recommendations to the competent authorities including the appointment of a seat in the municipal council so they can address the requirements of persons with special needs, and indicated that cannot at this stage stand as candidates until they are trained to prepare programs and develop plans and mechanisms to overcome the obstacle to communicate and convince voters with their ability to serve the community .