Doha on January 16, 2019
Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, met with Mr. Karim Ghezraoui, Chief of Section in the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry, Special Rapporteur on the right to education, during their visit to Doha, at the invitation of the National Human Rights Committee. During the meeting, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh Al-Marri discussed the efforts and working methods of the National Human Rights Committee since its establishment. Al Marri also briefed on the moves taken by the NHRC to stop the violations committed against citizens and residents of Qatar due to the unjust blockade imposed since 5 June 2017, through monitoring and documenting violations, communication with international human rights mechanisms, conducting visits and meetings with international governments, parliaments and human rights organizations.
Dr. Al Marri, chairman of the National Human Rights Committee discussed with Dr. Koumbou Boly Barry, Special Rapporteur on the right of education in the United Nations, the serious repercussions of the violations of the right to education by the countries of the blockade, which prevented many Qatari students from completing their education in the universities of the countries of blockade. Al Marri called on the Special Rapporteur on education to take further urgent and effective measures to urge the countries of the blockade to comply with international conventions and human rights laws, and put an end to the suffering of Qatari students affected by the discriminatory measures taken by the blockading countries. In his discussion with Mr. Karim Ghezraoui, Al Marri addressed violations of the eight basic rights of citizens and residents of Qatar, such as the right to practice religious rites, right to health, right to property, the right to litigation and the right to family reunification.
Interviews with officials of the National Human Rights Committee
During their visit to the headquarters of the National Human Rights Committee, Ms. Koumbou and Mr. Karim met with officials of various departments of the NHRC and heard a detailed presentation on the objectives of the National Human Rights Committee and its objectives in the field of human rights development in Qatar. Ms. Koumbou and Mr. Karim also provided explanations to the officials of the National Commission on Human Rights to introduce the functions and mandate of special rapporteurs and their relationship with civil society organizations.
Suffering of the victims of the blockade
On the other hand, Ms. Koumbou, Special Rapporteur on the right to education at the United Nations, met with representatives of the victims of the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar and listened to the details of their complaints, including denied access to school, due to the discriminatory procedures at the universities of the blockading countries. The victims stressed their continued suffering, and the denial of the universities in the blockading countries to allow them to continue their education, or at least obtain educational records.
In a meeting with the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Education, a number of students said that universities in the United Arab Emirates have not responded to the International Court of Justice’s decision, which calls on the Abu Dhabi government to stop all discriminatory measures against Qatari students and allow them to complete their studies.
Mr. Karim Ghezraoui listened to testimonies of those affected by the blockade, including victims deprived of their religious rights (Hajj and Umrah); and those who were also prevented from conducting Hajj campaigns for two consecutive years, and suffered blatant losses due to the obstacles imposed by the Saudi authorities, as well as property owners and mixed families.
A seminar at Qatar University on the role of special rapporteurs in the promotion and protection of human rights
On the sidelines of their visit to Doha, Special Rapporteur on the right to Education at the United Nations, and the Chief of Section in the Thematic Engagement, Special Procedures and Right to Development Division at the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, will speak on Thursday at a seminar with Qatar University, on the “Role of United Nations Special Rapporteurs in the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights”. The seminar will address the work and terms of reference of United Nations special rapporteurs and define their mandate.