Dr. Ali bin Samih Al-Marri, president of Qatar National Human Rights Committee, stated that the committee works to monitor and report the humanitarian cases and find ways to resolve them, especially the situation of workers, other vulnerable groups including women, children, persons with disabilities, detainees…etc. This came in the context of the working paper presented by Dr. Al Marri in the General Assembly meeting of the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions held in the Algeria on the developments and the challenges facing Qatar NHRC and its proposals for the Arab Network. Al-Marri revealed that in 2017, the committee received (2084) complaints from residents and (3600) complaints from citizens due to the blockade imposed on the State of Qatar. Al Marri pointed out that Qatar National Human Rights Committee is keen to not interfere in the political affairs in the Gulf crisis. He said that the cooperation between Qatar National Human Rights Committee and the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt can be considered a best practice among national human rights institutions. Al-Marri said: “The inhuman blockade has caused several human rights violations, most notably the right to family reunification, which affected women, children, persons with disabilities, where children are deprived of their mothers and fathers. He added that The arbitrary actions and decisions that have been taken also prevented hundreds of students from completing their studies in flagrant violation of the right to education.The blockade also caused the loss and death of hundreds of camels and livestock, and denial of the use and disposition of private property, in a gross violation to the right to private property. The blockade also affected the right to movement and residence, the right to health, the right to work, the right to freedom of opinion and expression, the right to worship and freedom to practice religious rites. On other developments in Qatar, Al-Marri praised the issuance of the Law on regulating the rights of Domestic workers and the establishment of the Committee for the Settlement of Labor Disputes, which is considered a very positive step to harmonize laws with national and international human rights mechanisms, pointing out that NHRC recommended that more efforts should be made to improve the conditions of workers in Qatar, the most recent of which is the recommendation on the need to apply a system for collecting occupational health and safety data. The collection of national data on occupational health and safety indicators should be comprehensive and provide accurate information and statistics on the number and nature of occupational accidents and fatalities, which will help employers, insurance companies, labor inspectors and occupational health and safety agencies to use such data in planning and policy-making to protect workers.Read More
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The President of the Human Rights Council in Egypt expressed his readiness to resolve the issues of Qatari property owners and students
The President of Qatar National Human Rights Committee, Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri, met with Ms. Fafa Zerrougui, President of the National Council for Human Rights in Algeria, Mr. Abdullah Bin Shouine Al Hosani, Chairman of Oman Human Rights Commission, and Dr. Mohammed Fayeq, president of Human Rights council in Egypt, on the sidelines of the General Assembly of the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions held in Algeria. Dr. Al-Marri and Mr. Fayeq, discussed the cases of the Qatari students studying in Egypt and owners of property who were affected by the blockade. Dr. Al-Marri stressed the need to move and find urgent solutions to these issues and cases. Mr. Mohamed Fayeq expressed his readiness to solve the issues of Qatari students and property owners. Qatar National Human Rights Committee has addressed the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt and stressed the need to not politicalize human rights files. In the course of his meetings, Al-Marri congratulated Ms. Fafa on the occasion of her assumption of the presidency of the Network at its new term during which he called for working on the objectives of the network, in particular strengthening the capacities of national human rights institutions. Al Marri also extended thanks to Al Hosani for the achievements of the Omani Commission in the previous presidency term of the Network. The two sides discussed the importance of strengthening the cooperation in the field of human rights and activating joint activities between the Qatari and Omani committees. During the meetings, Al-Marri also discussed means of cooperation with chairs of national human rights institutions, calling for the exchange of expertise and experiences in all human rights issues.
Dr. Ali bin Samih Al-Marri, president of Qatar National Human Rights Committee, called for the drafting of a charter of honor among Arab national human rights institutions in order to achieve their goals regardless of political disputes. Al-Marri called on National Institutions in the Arab region to further cooperate to develop mechanisms to protect and promote human rights, as well as to play its leading role in dealing with any violations that may occur to human rights and fundamental freedoms under in political crises. Al-Marri, in his speech at the opening of the General Assembly of the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions (ANNHRI), held in Algeria, called for the neutralization and non-politicization of the human rights files and said: “There is no doubt that the diplomatic disputes, and the divergence of visions towards some political issues and subjects, are normal between countries, however respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms should be maintained. The President of Qatar National Human Rights Human Rights Committee stated that the promotion and protection of human rights and freedoms is considered one of the noblest goals of national human rights institutions, and thus the NHRC in Qatar renewed its full and absolute support for all efforts of the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions. The National Human Rights Committee of Qatar also calls for activating the recommendations of the conferences implemented in partnership with the Arab Network of National Human Rights Institutions and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. At the same time, Al Marri praised the important role that the Arab Network has played since its inception and the efforts made by the Network for the promotion and protection of human rights in the Arab region and the efforts it has exerted to build bridges of cooperation and joint action between NHRIs to share experiences and build joint capacities. In the same context, Al-Marri stressed the importance of the strategic partnership between the Arab Network and the High Commission, and the General Secretariat of the Council of Arab Ministers of the Interior. At the end of his speech, Dr. Al Marri praised the strong partnership between the National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar and the National Council for Human Rights in Algeria, hosting the General Assembly of the Arab Network, expressing the sincere desire to strengthen this partnership.Read More
Dr. Ali bin Samih Al-Marri, president of Qatar National Human Rights Committee, met at the Committee’s headquarters with the Parliamentary investigation Committee of the British Parliament, headed by Mr. Graham Morris. Dr. Al-Marri discussed during the meeting a detailed explanation of the human rights violations caused by the blockade imposed on Qatar. While the Parliamentary investigation Committee held a press conference at the headquarters of NHRC after meeting with Dr. Al Marri. The British Parliamentary Committee, mandated by the British Parliament to investigate the violations resulting of the blockade imposed on the state of Qatar, called for an immediate lifting of the blockade, which they consider illegal and violating all international and humanitarian conventions and laws. Mr. Morse pointed out that he had met with a number of officials of the National Committee, including Dr. Ali bin Samih Al-Marri, and many of the victims of the blockade; he added that said that the blockade violates the basic human rights that should be respected rather than violated. He pointed out that there are international obligations on the countries to abide by and stressed that it is in everyone’s interest to resolve the current Gulf crisis urgently. The head of the British Parliamentary Committee stated that the committee shall present the outcomes of their visit to Qatar to the British Parliament, and will hold meetings with members of Parliament, as well as address the European Union in this regard. Mr. Morse said at the press conference that the committee met with officials of the British Embassy in Qatar, who said they supported the efforts to lift the blockade, which is the position of the British government, and support the mediation conducted by His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, to end the crisis. He expressed the delegation’s readiness to visit the countries of the blockade upon receiving an invitation. He called for a quick political solution to the crisis and not to involve citizens in such political and diplomatic disputes.Read More
The National Human Rights Committee called on the Qatari government to take all possible steps at the international level, especially at the level of the Security Council, international courts and arbitration committees, to lift the blockade imposed on citizens and residents in the State of Qatar and redress the victims. The Committee called for the acceleration of litigation procedures to redress the victims and recommended that the procedures for integrating students into universities and the Qatari educational system should be facilitated and that humanitarian cases of some affected persons should be addressed.
This came in the fourth report, titled, “Six months of the blockade, what is next?” .. 184 days and violations continue. The report included a comprehensive account of the victims’ testimonies about the violations against them, and the Committee’s efforts at the national level in monitoring and documenting violations, along with its international movement at various levels and destinations to end the blockade, violations and the resulting social and economic consequences.
The report said ..
The report pointed out that 3970 complaints have been received by the Committee since the blockade began, including 504 violations of the right to education, 236 violations against Qatari students, 1174 violations of the right to property, 629 violations of the right to family reunification, 1261 violations of the right to movement, 37 violations of the right to health, 163 violations of the right to practice religious rites, 109 violations of the right to work and 93 violations of the right to residence.”
Violations in the field of media
The National Human Rights Committee recorded 103 cases of media staff from citizens of the three countries, who were working in a number of visual media in the State of Qatar, and who were subjected to various types of violations, including pressure to force them to resign. As per such pressure, 10 of these workers were forced to submit their resignations, and therefore lost their jobs and livelihoods. There is still great pressure exercised on anyone who did not resign, and this act is a flagrant violation of freedom of the press, work, residence, and opinion at the same time.
The report pointed out that the countries of the blockade have blocked the Qatari channels, whether these channels are governmental or private. This is what came in the resolutions of the governments of the blockading countries, which decided to cancel the TV channels of Qatar and imposed of a fine of 100 thousand Riyals against those who contravene these directives.
Violations of the performance of rituals and religious rites
The report showed that the authorities of Saudi Arabia continue to put obstacles and impediments to Qatari citizens and residents in Qatar to perform rituals and religious rites. The Hajj and Umrah campaigners in the State of Qatar have complained about the harassment and difficulties placed against the residents when try to perform Umrah.
The report considered that the policy of “politicizing religious rites” has caused great financial losses and damages in Qatar since the beginning of the blockade due to the prohibition of performing Hajj and Umrah. The losses of the Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs related to Hajj and Umrah were approximately QAR 4,500,000 in addition to other losses that resulted from the imposition of the blockade on the State of Qatar.
The report concluded by stressing that the governments of the countries of the blockade, through their arbitrary decisions and illegal measures, have violated – and still violates – several basic rules, laws and principles of international human rights law, which have become one of the most basic human rights. Some particular articles were violated in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, as well as articles in other instruments, including the Arab Charter on Human Rights, the Human Rights Declaration of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the economic agreement between the GCC countries. The blockading states also violated the Chicago Convention banning the movement of Qatari civil aviation over their territories without any justification or war necessity or reasons related to public security.
The efforts of the Committee in the face of the blockade
The Committee has addressed about 450 human rights organizations and international and regional governmental and non-governmental organizations to appeal for urgent action to address the effects of the humanitarian crisis caused by the blockade. It has also visited 33 European and international capitals to inform them of the extent of the violations committed against the State of Qatar as a result of the blockade. In addition, the Committee has received numerous international human rights organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, and parliamentary delegations from European countries.
The report said that the Committee continues to receive complaints from victims of decisions associated with the blockade. These decisions have caused several human rights violations, including: family reunification, education, property, movement and residence, religious practice, health, work, etc.
The report also noted that the Qatari government has not taken any similar action against the citizens of the countries of the blockade, and the NHRC has not received any complaint in this regard. The State of Qatar also, on 22 June 2017, established the Claims Compensation Committee for damages resulting from the blockade.
* NHRC addresses its counterparts in the blockade countries, but to no avail!
In its ongoing efforts to address violations, the National Human Rights Committee has addressed both the Saudi and the UAE Human Rights Societies. The Committee also addressed the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt and sent all the lists of victims and called them to communicate with their authorities to deal with these violations. The Committee received no responses from them except the National Council for Human Rights in Egypt, which dealt positively with the letter of the Committee. The NHRC continued its attempts to communicate with the Bahraini National Institution for Human Rights – but to no avail.
Recommendations to the international community
The Committee’s report concluded with a series of urgent recommendations to put an end to the violations of the blockade. The Committee called upon the international community to act urgently to lift the blockade and to exert all possible efforts to mitigate its repercussions on the people of Qatar and the citizens of the blockade countries as well.
Recommendations to the United Nations and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
The Committee also submitted 4 recommendations to the United Nations and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights requesting them to present reports and data documenting the types of violations, especially the displacement of families, in particular the report of the technical mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, which visited Doha from 18 to 23 November 2017, and a detailed report on human rights violations to the Council Human rights , to the special rapporteurs and contractual mechanisms to address violations and ensure that they are not repeated. The Committee called upon the Human Rights Council to adopt a resolution and to take all possible measures to lift the blockade and the resulting violations and to demand compensation for all damages suffered by all individuals. It further called for the establishment of a fact-finding committee and to meet victims directly.
The Committee recommended to the special rapporteurs of the Human Rights Council that they should respond promptly to the reports of the National Human Rights Committee and the victims’ letters and call for urgent appeals in this regard and address the governments of the blockade countries to lift violations and redress the victims. It also called upon the special rapporteurs to conduct field visits to Qatar and the blockade countries to identify violations of human rights as a result of the blockade, and to codify these violations in periodic reports submitted to the Human Rights Council.
Recommendations to the GCC Secretariat
The Committee addressed the General Secretariat of the Gulf Cooperation Council, including a call to the Legal Affairs Sector in the General Secretariat, especially the Human Rights Office in the sector, to address the blockade countries to lift violations, redress the victims and stop any new arbitrary measures.
Recommendations to the States of the blockade
The Committee addressed five recommendations to the States of the blockade, calling on them to respect and abide by the commitments contained in the human rights conventions which they have ratified and acceded to, to cease, stop and remedy violations, to redress victims, to respond to reports of the National Human Rights Committee and international reports. A recommendation also request permission for the international organizations and missions to conduct field visits to learn about humanitarian situations closely, identify responsibilities and redress victims. Such recommendations further called for the need to neutralize the political file on the impact on humanitarian and social conditions, and not to be used as a pressure card for violating international law and international human rights law.
Recommendations to the Qatari Government
The National Human Rights Committee concluded its report with recommendations to the Qatari government, including taking all possible steps at the international level, at the level of the Security Council, international courts and arbitration committees, to lift the blockade off citizens and residents of the State of Qatar. It also called on the Claims Compensation Committee to speed up litigation procedures to redress victims, facilitate the integration of students into universities and the Qatari education system and address humanitarian cases for some affected persons.
The fourth report complements three general reports and four special reports that the Committee has issued since the beginning of the crisis. That time, the NHRC confirmed that it would continue to update this basic report as long as the blockade and the resulting violations continued.Read More
The report on the violation of the right to education comes in a series of reports prepared by the NHRC, on violations arising from the blockade imposed on the State of Qatar. The blockade caused a lot of damage, where the three blockading countries (Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain) prevented Qatari students and Qatari residents from continuing their education at their educational institutions, as well as preventing their own students from continuing their education in the State of Qatar. Such violation of the right to education may be summarized as follows:
– The National Human Rights Committee has received enormous complaints amounted to 213 cases of students from the State of Qatar studying in The countries of the blockade, where the authorities of Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain forced them to leave their territories. The students found themselves with a prior notice deprived of pursuing their studies after the decision of those countries to sever their relations with Qatar on June 5, 2017. The blockade continues for the fourth month, while these students are still prevented from attending for their final exams, although some of them just had one month to graduate.
– The countries of the blockade forced 706 students studying at Qatar University to return to their countries (Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain) within 14 days from the date of announcing the severing of ties, and prevented them from completing their studies.
– As per the cases reported by the Committee, The countries of the blockade have prevented their universities from cooperating with the expelled Qatari students, and did not respond to any requests of facilitating for students to complete their studies or recover the amounts they paid or even to obtain their academic documents. Such measures caused blatant harm to the future of these students and violated their right to education.
– The violation was not only limited to students , but also to their families who sought the right of their sons and daughters to a quality education, but were shocked by the decisions that caused them materialistic and moral harm.
– Expulsion of students without legal justification and preventing them from residence and completion of the study, this not only violates their right to education but also violates their guaranteed right in freedom of movement and residence, as supported by international laws and conventions that guarantee the right to move freely.
Recommendations to the concerned parties:
To the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Bahrain:
1. Lift the blockade imposed on the State of Qatar and take the necessary and appropriate measures to resume the study for all students, whether Qataris or citizens of these three blockading countries.
2. Open ports, land, air and sea crossings to allow all Qatari students and students residing in Qatar to return to complete their studies and not to involve them in any political or economic dispute between countries.
3. Allow students from the three countries to return to complete their studies in Qatar.
4. Facilitate all means to guarantee the right of education for all students from the State of Qatar and from the three blockading countries.
5. Ensure that students from both sides return to their countries without causing any harm to them at the educational, psychological or physical levels.
6. Compensate the affected students and guarantee that they will not be harmed again.
To the Special Rapporteur on the right to education:
1. Submit special reports to the Human Rights Council and to the General Assembly on violations committed against the State of Qatar of the right to education, the right to development, the right to security and safety and the right to freedom of movement and residence.
2. contact other states and parties concerned with respect to cases of violations of the right to education. This right is guaranteed in accordance with the international conventions on the prevention of any discrimination in the right to education.
3. Address the blockading states to necessarily comply and respect the right to education, which means that they must avoid measures that impede or prevent the enjoyment of the right to education.
To the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO):
1. Issue an appeal to call on the countries of the blockade to stop violating the right to education by lifting the blockade on the State of Qatar, and expeditiously consider the complaints of students whose right to education was violated, compensate them and lift injustice to which they were subjected.
2. Issue a special report on the complaints of students who have been deprived of their right to education due to the blockade imposed on the State of Qatar, explaining the violations they have suffered and enabling students to join their universities and complete their studies.
To the United Nations, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, and UNICEF:
1. Prepare reports and data documenting cases of violations of the right of education for Qataris students, residents of Qatar and students of the three blockading countries, because this violation will in turn lead to damage to their scientific, educational, moral and career future.
To the international accreditation committees of universities:
1. Address the universities in the three blockading countries to refrain from their decisions that prevent Qatari students from continuing their education in their universities, and find suitable solutions for these students to complete their university studies.
2. Urge international Universities in the blockading states not politicize people’s education because of the blockade imposed on the state of Qatar, and to respect the international code of ethics for universities.
To the international community:
1. Victims of violations of the right to education should have access to effective judicial remedies or other remedies at both national and international levels.
2. Human rights committees, or similar institutions at the national level, should address the countries of the blockade’ violations of the right to education in the State of Qatar.
3. Advocate and launch campaigns for the full realization of the right to education, and to hold accountable the responsible countries .Read More
The National Human Rights committee (NHRC) has issued two comprehensive reports on the violations arisen from the decisions issued at on June 5th, 2017 by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and the kingdom of Bahrain. Such decisions were directed to Shut down the only land border crossing, air and sea ports as for the aviation, civil navigation and all forms of trade movement and transportation, including the individual transportation. Moreover, the said States has also ordered, under threat and intimidation, all its citizens residing in the State of Qatar to depart, preventing them to travel to Qatar, and finally expelled all Qatari citizens residing in its territory.
In the report issued by the NHRC on the violations relating to the pilgrimage, the NHRC focus specifically on the obstacles that Saudi Arabia places in the way of citizens and residents of the State of Qatar preventing them of exercising their right to practice the religious rituals of Umrah and Hajj. This report aims to inform the governments of the world and regional and international human rights organizations about the moral and economic repercussions and its negative reflection on the Qatari society.
Those decisions were taken in the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan, which includes an intensive turnout of the Qatari community towards the holy places in the cities of Mecca and Medina, to perform the Umrah ritual. However, these decisions did not only exclude those who wish to visit the holy sites, but also it has expelled Qatari expatriates in a racial and humiliating manner. Although the date of the obligation of Hajj was getting closer, such procedures had not been changed, knowing that Hajj is the fifth pillar of the Islamic Sharia, that obviously confirms the intention of the Government of Saudi Arabia to breach the rights of Muslims residing in the State of Qatar who desire to exercise Hajj.
The National Human Rights Committee has contacted the Qatari Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic affairs, which provided the number of citizens and residents of Qatar who applied for Hajj in 2017 as approximately 21,255 individuals; about 2,400 pilgrims of them obtained approvals. (This number does not include the official Qatari missions or coordinators).
Dr. Ali Al Marri stated “We defend the right of Qatari citizens and expatriates to visit the religious places ; of course this is not a method of politicization, but it is a defence for a human right, But whoever places material, human and moral obstacles is the person that exploits and politicizes the Holy Places”.
The report included many recommendations to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including lifting of all measures and restrictions on citizens and residents of Qatar, Not using the religious places as a political leverage, Compensation all individuals, companies, offices and institutions engaged in annual Hajj-related businesses whose economic interests have been severely affected whether inside Qatar or in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Cooperating and coordination with the Ministry of Awqaf and the competent Qatari authorities towards a complete lifting of the obstacles set forth in the present report, and Countering defamation campaigns and incitement to violence, hatred and racial discrimination by official or semi-official newspapers and media, opinion writers known to be close to the Saudi government, including incitement on social media, and holding those responsible for such incitement accountable.
In addition to other recommendations to the International Community, including taking urgent action to support the right of individuals to perform Hajj and Umrah (Islamic pilgrim), exerting pressure to allow them entry to sacred lands, guaranteeing their security and safety and striving towards the complete lifting of the blockade; as well as recommendations to the United Nations (UN) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), including manipulating the religious sentiments of a large number of Muslims and banning them from performing Hajj will, undoubtedly, generate feelings of hostility against those who prevented them. An urgent report or statement clarifying the position of the NHRC in this regard must be issued.
Other recommendations were included in the report to the Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief including Communicating with the government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia regarding this issue and urgently requesting it to prepare a detailed report on the moral and physical suffering by pilgrims and companies and submit it to the Human Rights Council in order to take the necessary steps. And finally recommendations to the Parliaments of Islamic States including cutting the issue of “politicization of Hajj” on its agenda for consideration and evaluation, taking an explicit position from the obstacles imposed on Qatari pilgrims that are mentioned in this report, holding the Saudi government accountable and taking steps to prevent the recurrence of similar in case any Islamic government has a political dispute with the Saudi government.Read More
(Text of the Statement)
On August 17th, 2017, the media in Saudi Arabia reported that the Saudi authorities allow pilgrims of the State of Qatar to enter Saudi Arabia through Salwa border crossing without electronic permits, and to travel directly from Doha via airlines excluding Qatar Airways.
Qatar National Human Rights Committee expresses its satisfaction at the decision of the Saudi authorities – according to the media – as a step towards removing obstacles and difficulties faced by the pilgrims and facilitating Hajj procedures this year.
Since the beginning of the siege, Qatar National Human Rights Committee has called for facilitating Hajj procedures for citizens and residents of the State of Qatar without restrictions, and also called for regional and international moves to lift the injustice and not to politicize the Hajj or use it as a leverage against peoples or governments.
Qatar National Human Rights Committee stresses that the issue of Hajj cannot be subject to any political or personal mediations or scores, however it should only be considered as an inherent right stipulated in all international human rights agreements and conventions and Islamic Sharia.
Qatar National Human Rights Committee considers that the decision of the Saudi authorities is still unclear, especially with regard to pilgrims living in the State of Qatar, accordingly Qatar National Human Rights Committee calls for facilitating procedures for the pilgrims without discrimination, and looks forward to further measures to completely lift the siege on citizens and residents of the State of Qatar and GCC nationals.
25 Dhu Al-Qadah 1438
17 August 2017
(Text of the Statement)
At a time when Qatar National Human Rights Committee looks forward to lifting the injustice and calls for redress of the victims affected by the blockade and its humanitarian repercussions on the citizens and residents of the GCC countries, the Committee was shocked to know about the complaint submitted by the besieging countries (Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Egypt) against the Committee to the High Commissioner for Human Rights through its permanent representatives to the United Nations in Geneva.
The complaint included demands to withdraw “A” Status (the highest status accredited to NHRIs by the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions) from Qatar National Human Rights Committee, which entails the highest level of institutional credibility and independence from the Government in accordance with the standards established by the United Nations (the Paris Principles), in a desperate attempt to obstruct and hinder the work of the committee and the performance of its human rights protection functions.
This complaint has been preceded by systematic distortion campaigns against Qatar National Human Rights Committee launched by some parties and media, as well as accusations and threats made by some high level officials in these countries, in a critical precedent that has never been witnessed in the work of national human rights institutions around the world.
Qatar National Human Rights Committee is the first of its kind to be established in the GCC region and the only institution accredited “A” status in the Gulf region since 2010. Qatar National Human Rights Committee shall continue to work professionally in accordance with international law and the Paris Principles and shall always remain biased towards victims and human rights issues.
It would be more practical for the besieging countries to act and make efforts to address the violations promptly by lifting the injustice and responding to the demands of the Qatar National Human rights Committee, Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Special Rapporteurs and international human rights organizations, instead of obscuring violations, targeting human rights defenders, human rights organizations and national institutions, and obstructing their work. It would rather be appropriate for these countries to open the way for their human rights organizations to work together to resolve and address the violations, than wasting time in submitting statements and complaints that don’t have any legal effect on the efforts of Qatar National Human Rights Committee. This complaint is explicit condemnation of the practices of the besieging countries and a compelling proof of restricting the activities of human rights defenders.
Qatar National Human Rights Committee emphasizes that this step shall only strengthen its determination to support victims and make their voices heard in all international human rights forums, and work with its partners including international organizations and national institutions around the world to redress, compensate and restore their rights.
Qatar National Human Rights Committee calls upon the Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights defenders, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions and international organizations to act to counter the vicious and systematic campaigns against human rights activists and organizations .
21 Dhul-Qa’da 1438, 13 August 2017
(Text of the Statement)
At a time when international human rights organizations, journalists’ unions around the major international media have gathered to condemn the demands of the blockading countries to close Al-Jazeera and its arbitrary measures to close its offices, and called on those organizations to respect the freedom of expression and the right to access information and protect journalists; while the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Special Rapporteur on freedom of opinion and expression condemned the attacks by the blockading States on those freedoms in a flagrant violation of human rights,
And Following the Doha International Conference on “Freedom of Expression: Facing up to the threats” held from 24 to 25 July 2017, including the widespread condemnations of violations of freedom of opinion and expression in general and condemnation of the demands of the countries of the blockade that violate these freedoms and rights, as well as the solidarity with Al-Jazeera, carried out by the representatives of (200) international organizations of the participants in the conference,
On 6 August 2017, the Israeli occupation authorities closed the office of Al-Jazeera TV in Jerusalem and withdrew the accreditation of its journalists, in a flagrant violation of the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to information access.
The Human Rights Committee in Qatar condemns these attacks and the blatant defiance of the right to freedom of opinion and expression. The Israeli decision to close the office of Al-Jazeera TV is a critical precedent in the bias of the Israeli occupation towards the decisions of the countries of the blockade and the related violations of the rights to Opinion, expression and the right to access information.
The National Human Rights Committee of the State of Qatar denounces these provocative actions by the Israeli authorities and the serious violations of freedom of opinion and expression by the Foreign Ministers of the countries of the blockade at the recent Manama meeting; and calls on international organizations and journalists’ unions to stand up to this vicious and systematic campaign targeting free media And its journalists not only on Al Jazeera but on all the free, professional and independent media in the world.