On his visit to London, where he met with members of the House of Commons, the Lords of the British Parliament, the Shadow Government Minister and officials of the Foreign Ministry, Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh Al Marri, President of the National Human Rights Committee, warned of the persistence of the blockade countries that would prolong the crisis and exacerbate the humanitarian tragedies and family disintegration of thousands of citizens and residents of the Gulf States whose basic rights have been violated in the absence of a firm international position to force those countries to immediately respond to the international consensus that the blockade should be lifted immediately, regardless of political differences. This came during intensive meetings held by Dr. Ali Al-Marri in the visit to the British capital London, where he met with members of the House of Commons; Tom Brake of the Liberal Democrats Party; Head of Parliamentary Group and spokesperson of the Party; Chris Williams, MP and Shadow Minister for Civil defense and Emergency; Baroness Manzila Pola Uddin; Lord of Labour Party; Baron Norman Reginald Warner of the Labour Party; in addition to Richard Jones, Head of Human Rights and Democracy of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He also met Mr. Salil Shetti, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, and discussed with him the repercussions of the blockade on Qatar.
Silence of some governments and persistence of the blockade countries.
The President of the National Human Rights Committee noted that the silence of some governments encouraged the countries of the blockade States to continue their aggression and prolong the duration of the crisis, which has caused escalating human tragedies, not least of which is the denial of entire families from reunion and the disbanding of Gulf families due to unjust decisions
Dr. Al-Marri added, “We have received more than 4,000 complaints in the National Human Rights Committee so far, and we have documented thousands of cases of human rights violations. The serious thing is that there are thousands of victims from the blockade countries suffering in silence because of grave psychological damages, but they are under threat of harsh prison sentences, fines and the withdrawal or non-renewal of passports, in case they dare to submit complaints or criticize unfair decisions taken against the State of Qatar. ”
Al Marri stressed the need to give the tragedies of those affected by the blockade the highest priority in the discussions of the British parliament and government on the Gulf crisis, saying: “Regardless of the political differences that caused the current Gulf crisis, the governments and parliaments of the world have to strongly press those countries to stop the blockade imposed on Qatar, immediately and unconditionally, to put an end to the tragedies of thousands of citizens and residents of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. ”
Al Marri concluded by saying, “Apart from the serious dimensions that the current crisis may take and the time period to resolve it, it is certain that the blockade imposed by four Gulf-Arab states against a neighboring Gulf country will remain a black point in the history of the GCC countries and in the history of relations between countries. ”
Al Marri also announced that a UN mission will visit Doha from 18 to 23 November 2017 to investigate the humanitarian impact and violations caused by the blockade, in parallel with other forthcoming visits of international parliamentary delegations and human rights organizations to Doha in the coming days to report to countries and world parliaments on the extent of suffering of the peoples of the GCC States as a result of unilateral coercive measures taken by the States of the blockade, in flagrant violation of all international instruments and human rights law.
Dr. Ali Al-Marri addressed statements to deputies of the House of Commons and House of Lords, in a hearing hosted by the Scottish National Party MP Tommy Schipper of the Scottish Committee in the British Parliament. The session was attended by members the House of Commons and House of Lords. The hearing was devoted to a comprehensive report on the effects of the unjust inhuman blockade that has been imposed on since the beginning of the Gulf crisis. He also held a series of intensive meetings with Lester Carr Michael of the Liberal Democrats, MP Martyn Day of the Scottish National Party, Nicole Pinci, coordinator of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Human Rights in Parliament, and MP David Wayne, Shadow Minister for Defense and Procurement at the British Ministry of Defense; and another meeting with MP Graham Morris, head of the British parliamentary delegation, who visited Doha in September and met with a number of people affected by the blockade and documented cases of human rights violations in a final report to parliamentarians and the international media. Dr. Ali bin Smaikh handed the deputies to the parliament copies of four reports, documenting the violations that have occurred since the beginning of the blockade against students, pilgrims, residents and international organizations.
No neutrality with human rights violations
Dr. Al-Marri addressed the MPs by saying: “the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) considering with some organizations the possibility of establishing an international coalition of human rights organizations, activists and international figures to combat the siege on citizens and residents of the State of Qatar and the Gulf countries concerned. We will exert strong pressure through all international and regional platforms, and by all peaceful and legal means provided for in international instruments to lift this injustice on the Gulf people and Gulf citizens.”
He also stressed that “the world must be aware that there is no neutrality when it comes to violations of human rights,” noting that “the silence of some influential governments make the siege countries continue violations and prolong the humanitarian crisis.”
Al Marri declared to the Parliament Members that a mission from the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights will review the humanitarian situation of citizens and residents in Qatar and the citizens of the GCC countries, noting that the UN mission will meet with the victims and will be handed over all the data, documents, evidence and names of the victims, and that the mission will submit its report to the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
He also revealed that other international missions will visit Doha to submit their reports to countries and parliaments in the world to know the extent of the suffering of the peoples of the GCC countries due to the unilateral coercive measures taken by these countries in flagrant violation of all international conventions. He praised the great response and sympathy of members of parliament that he had met.
Strong interaction of MPs
The parliamentary hearing witnessed a great deal of interaction among MPs who asked about the reality of the situation in Qatar about five months after the blockade and expressed sympathy for the victims. The deputies met with Dr. Ali bin Smeikh that they will prepare a joint statement in the British Parliament on the humanitarian consequences of the blockade, in parallel to address the British Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on the violations of the embargo.