We will soon announce a report on the persistence of Saudi Arabia in violations of the rights of citizens and residents in Qatar
The report of Saudi violations will be submitted to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination
Increased concern for the rights of victims due to the UAE’s intransigence and persistence in its violations
The UAE has not established a clear mechanism to implement the court’s order to protect the rights of victims
We report cases of violations after the issuance of the ICJ order, including continued arbitrary, unilateral and coercive measures violating civil, economic and social rights
The UAE flouts its obligations and commitments to implement the court’s decision
Imposing sudden restrictions on travel for all, without regard to humanitarian situations, especially children and mothers
Emirati media officials and social media influencers engage in escalation and incitement against the State of Qatar
The UAE remains committed to cutting ports with Qatar confirming its continued violation of the right to movement
Abu Dhabi imposed unilateral sanctions and arbitrary measures on its citizens including imprisonment and a fine on people showing sympathy towards Qatar
The NHRC contacted all victims to ensure that the UAE did not comply with the order of the International Court of Justice
The report includes recommendations to the “International Justice”, UAE and Qatar in order to put an end to the violations
We call on the government of Qatar to submit a detailed report on the UAE’s commitment to the court’s decision to the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the International Court of Justice, the Security Council, the Human Rights Council, and the United Nations Committee against Racial Discrimination
Addressing 600 international organizations to pressure the UAE to comply with the order of the International Court of Justice
The report are submitted to all diplomatic missions accredited to the United Nations and specialized international agencies
Geneva, January 24, 2020
Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, strongly criticized the UAE for its continued violations of the rights of citizens and residents in the State of Qatar, with 2105 violations by UAE since the start of the blockade imposed on Qatar, including 1212 violations of the order of the International Court of Justice a year and a half after its issuance, announcing at the same time that a report will be issued soon regarding the persistence of the authorities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in violating the rights of citizens and residents in the State of Qatar, where the report will be submitted to the Committee against All Forms of Racial Discrimination and all international mechanisms.
Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri stressed in press statements from Geneva that the Abu Dhabi authorities did not establish a clear mechanism to implement the court’s decision to protect the interests of the victims and ensure the elimination of violations; which reaffirms their continued obstructions and punitive and discriminatory measures against the citizens and residents of the State of Qatar, which flouts all obligations and commitment to implement the order of the International Court of Justice.
Al Marri noted the increasing concern about the rights of victims due to the UAE’s continuing violations, calling on both the International Court of Justice, the United Arab Emirates and the State of Qatar to expedite the response to the recommendations contained in the report by the National Human Rights Committee to put an end to the violations resulting from the continued blockade Two and a half years ago.
Al-Marri submits the report to the High Commissioner for Human Rights and Special Procedures
During his visit to Geneva, the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee met with a number of officials of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the United Nations Special Procedures Division, where he presented a copy of the second report on Emirati violations of the order of the International Court of Justice. He also delivered a copy of the report to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the President of the Human Rights Council.
Al Marri noted that the National Human Rights Committee will address the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the President of the International Court of Justice, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, the President of the United Nations Committee against Racial Discrimination, special rapporteurs of the United Nations, and the President of the European Parliament, along with 600 international organizations, to put pressure on UAE to comply with the decisions of the International Court of Justice and stop its violations. The report will also be sent to all diplomatic missions accredited to the United Nations and specialized international agencies.
The second report monitors UAE violations of ICJ’s order
Dr. Ali bin Samikh Al-Marri launched the second report by the National Human Rights Committee, regarding the continued Emirati violations of International Court of Justice order issued, based on lawsuit filed by the State of Qatar against the UAE before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the background of its violation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Qatar joined the ICERD on July 22, 1974, while the UAE joined the ICERD on June 20, 1974, where neither party made any reservation to Article (22) or any other articles related to the case before the ICJ.
The report contains updated data and information, based on the complaints received by the NHRC during the period from the beginning of the blockade to date, knowing that the number of affected individuals who have not submitted complaints is much bigger than what the complaints submitted to the NHRC. The NHRC had previously issued a report entitled “Six months after the issuance of the ICJ order, UAE’s fails to comply”, 15 January 2019, which monitor the compliance of the UAE’s commitment with the ICJ order.
The report also includes an analysis of updated statistics on human rights violations, and testimonies of victims of violations of their fundamental rights by UAE authorities. It also deals with violations against these victims. The NHRC shall continue to update the present report as long as the blockade continues, the damage sustains, and complaints continue to be submitted by victims, knowing that the Government of Qatar does not take any action against citizens of the UAE or other countries that sever diplomatic ties with the State of Qatar.
The present report monitors the continuation of the UAE’s violations of human rights and explains the impact of arbitrary unilateral measures taken by it against the State of Qatar. It also monitors the extent of the UAE’s implementation of the ICJ order issued a year and a half ago (July 23, 2018 to December 31, 2019). The present report is based on monitoring process and other information collection undertaken by the NHRC.
The report provides a comprehensive review of all human rights violations, particularly the rights included in the ICJ order, which should be read in conjunction with the report issued by the NHRC entitled (after “six” months … the UAE’s non-compliance with the ICJ orders, 15 January 2019). The report addresses data and information related to these violations, especially examples of some cases that confirm the UAE’s non-compliance with the court’s order and not establishing a clear mechanism that works to overcome hardships facing victims and retrieval of damage caused to them. The report highlights in its first part human rights violations included in the ICJ order which come in two parts, including the right to family reunification, the right to education, and the right to have access to courts and other judicial bodies (1212 violations). The second part refers to measure to prevent the escalation of the Gulf crisis by spreading hate speech, incitement to violence and dissemination of racial discrimination against the State of Qatar and its residents. The report also includes other violations committed by the UAE not covered by the ICJ order. These are violations that are closely related to the rights contained in the court’s order, as monitored by the NHRC as follows: Violations of the right to private property, the right to movement and residence, the right to work, the right to health, and freedom of opinion and expression. The total violations committed by the UAE has reached (2105).
In its final part, the Report includes All legal aspects related to the rights pertaining to the ICJ order in accordance with provisions of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as well as legal aspects of other violations mentioned in the present report, Conclusions of the present report and previous reports including the continued failure of the UAE to comply with the ICJ order and continued violation of human rights due to the unilateral actions and arbitrary measures taken by it during the past year and a half following the issuance of the decision and Recommendations to all parties concerned with the ICJ order which compels and obligates the UAE to rescind the arbitrary decisions it has taken, lift injustice and redress and compensate victims.
Human rights violations contained in the ICJ order
A. Violation of the Right to Family Reunification
A year and a half after the issuance of the ICJ order, the UAE continues to take unilateral arbitrary actions and measures against the State of Qatar including violation of the right to family reunification and rupture of the Social Fabric. Sudden restrictions on travelling have been enforced for all without regard to humanitarian situations, in clear violation of human rights, especially those of the most vulnerable groups such as children and mothers.
The UAE authorities claim that since June 5, 2017, no administrative or legal measures have been taken to expel Qatari citizens. The NHRC, however, confirms that this allegation is misleading containing many evident fallacies to escape legal and rights-related responsibilities resulting from violations that have been and continues to be carried out by the UAE authorities since the beginning of the blockade, even after the ICJ order. This is confirmed by reports issued by international organizations and some parliamentary delegations as well as reports of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and the special rapporteurs who have visited the State of Qatar after the blockade. The NHRC in the State of Qatar has documented in its successive reports hundreds of cases that have been expelled by the UAE authorities, without taking into consideration the situation of mixed families, Qatari students, owners of property, persons with disabilities or patients and people receiving medical treatment.
The implementation of the ICJ order obliges the UAE to establish a clear mechanism to ensure the reunification of Qatari families who have been affected by arbitrary unilateral and continuous measures. The NHRC monitored and documented the UAE’s non-compliance with the ICJ order regarding family reunification, through contacts it made with a large number of victims after the issuance of the court’s order. There were even new cases of violations of this right that were also monitored and documented.
The cases of violations related to this right, which amounted to (90) cases, have not been addressed. Instead, some of these families faced great difficulties while attempting to reunite. The previous report, issued by the NHRC issued on January 15, 2019, dealt with a number of cases and the difficulties and obstacles they faced caused by the UAE.
B. Violation of the Right to Education
The right to education is a fundamental inalienable right, and the NHRC has observed a flagrant violation of this right over a year and a half of arbitrary, unilateral and coercive measures taken by the UAE against the State of Qatar even after the issuance of the ICJ order which affirms providing an opportunity for Qatari students to complete their education in UAE, or obtain their educational records if they wish to continue their studies elsewhere.
It should be noted that since the beginning of the blockade, the State of Qatar has resolved a number of cases of students expelled from the UAE. This, however, does not negate the damage that have occurred due to the coercive measures, as the students faced many difficulties.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education made two visits to Qatar in January and December 2019 and met with a number of victims of violations of the right to education as a result of the blockade. The Special Rapporteur has addressed the UAE twice with regard to the protection of the rights of Qatari students, but the UAE has not responded to his calls and requests. The Committee notes the meeting of the United Nations Technical Mission with affected Qatari students. A number of international human rights organizations have also filed complaints with the UNESCO about the cases of Qatari students whose Right to Education was violated as a result of arbitrary unilateral measures taken by the UAE, which are still under way.
An example of the violation of this right is that two Qatari students were suspended and removed from the records of the University of Sharjah on June 5, 2017. The UAE also violated the data privacy of these two students who were expelled from the university, by publicizing their reports during the session of the Committee on Conventions and Recommendations (CR) at the UNESCO, which were held on October 9, 2019 at the 207th session of the UNESCO Executive board in Paris. These documents were not sealed or notarized by the universities or printed on official papers of the university but were rather distributed in the form of (photocopies).
There is a wide range of cases related to the violation of this right documented by the NHRC since the beginning of the blockade and following the ICJ order. The Total of violations of the Right to Education reached (155) cases. The NHRC also monitored few cases which were solved with difficulty following the ICJ order.
C. Violation of the Right to have Access to Courts and other Judicial Bodies
Violations of the UAE due to the arbitrary unilateral actions and measures taken against the State of Qatar two and a half years ago extended to violating the right of Qatari citizens to have access to courts and other judicial bodies (the right to litigate), and to defend themselves before the UAE courts (the right to a fair trial). This is despite the fact that the UAE is obligated under the treaties or conventions that confer jurisdiction on the Court to implement the rulings issued for the benefit of any member. Failure from the UAE side to implement the ICJ’s rulings is a violation of international legitimacy and law, charters and treaties. Moreover, the implementation of court orders, whether national or international, must be carried out immediately and the UAE should separate out implementation of the provisions of the law, court orders and political whims.
Violation of the Right to have Access to Courts and other Judicial Bodies
Many citizens had court rulings issued in their favour, whether in relation to recovering their money, property, or legal rights. However, they were shocked that UAE courts cancelled these rulings, neglected their implementation, or did not apply them, or with complacency in restoring the rights of Qataris living in UAE. Furthermore, Some Qataris were subjected to legal violations in financial and business dealings with individuals from the UAE, and those dealings resulted in the loss of their money and property due to bouncing checks or the loss of their financial rights.
In its previous reports, the NHRC has mentioned cases related to the Right to have Access to courts and other Judicial Bodies, particularly in its report on the ICJ order, which obliges it to take the necessary steps to allow Qataris affected by the measures it adopted on June 5, 2017 to have access to UAE courts and other judicial bodies. The NHRC noted that after the issuance pf the ICJ order and until the date of this report, the UAE has not established a clear mechanism to implement the Court’s order to protect the interests of the victims.
2. Other human rights violations:
The report reviews a number of other violations that were not stipulated in the ICJ order. these violations resulted from the blockade and unilateral coercive measures on the State of Qatar. This part clarifies through the NHRC’s monitoring and documenting the UAE’s continuing violations of these rights from the start of the blockade on June 5, 2017, to the date of publishing this report.
A. Violation of the Right to Property
The number of cases submitted to the NHRC regarding the violation of the Right to Property is amounted to (514) during the two and a half years of the blockade imposed by the UAE on the State of Qatar. It should be noted that there are hundreds of complaints lodged with the compensation claim committee as well. The NHRC affirms, through the cases it has received, that the UAE continues to ignore the ICJ order, which obliges it to address the conditions of Qatari investors and properties owners, as the UAE, who violated their Right to Property has not allowed them access to UAE courts judicial bodies.
B. Violation of the Right to movement and Residence
The Right to Freedom of Movement and Residence is one of the rights shall not be subject to any restrictions except those which are provided by law, are necessary to protect national security, public order, public health or morals or the rights and freedoms of others as stipulated in Article (12/3) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
During the two and a half years of the UAE’s blockade of the State of Qatar, this right continued to be violated even following the ICJ order. The UAE continues to impose restrictions on freedom of movement and residence and to prevent and hinder the freedom of both Qataris and residents of the State of Qatar, in violation of international Human Rights law and all relevant international conventions and agreements.
C. Violations of the Right to Work:
The right to work is one of the fundamental rights every human being should be entitled to. During the two years and a half of the blockade, UAE has committed numerous violations of economic and social rights, including the right to work. Among the prominent forms of violations is the loss of jobs by hundreds of individuals as a result of the arbitrary decisions by the UAE forcing these individuals to leave the UAE and preventing their return back to their jobs.
D. Violations of the Right to Freedom of Opinion and Expression:
Violations to the right to freedom of opinion and expression continued despite appeals by human rights activists to put these practices to a halt, since the exercise of that right – without fear or any illegal intervention – is key to living in an open-minded and equitable society, where people enjoy access to justice and the right to freedom of opinion and expression.
Furthermore, the NHRC has monitored the unprecedented levels of the UAE’s deliberate persistence to violate this right, throughout the two-and-a-half-year period of the blockade on the state of Qatar. The UAE has imposed penalties and undertook unilateral arbitrary actions on UAE nationals and other persons present on the UAE territories, simply for showing sympathy for Qatar.
The report with regard to this decision had indicated that violations of the right to freedom of opinion and expression prevail in the society in a way contrary to ethics, values and human rights, reflecting the nature of the UAE state regime.
E. Violations of the Right to Health:
The right to health is one of the fundamental and indispensable human right. Therefore, violating this right by UAE through the ongoing adoption of unilateral arbitrary decisions for the period of two years and a half had a number of repercussions, according to the report of the OHCHR Technical Mission to the State of Qatar. Cutting trade relations had affected Qatar’s access to medicines and medical supplies, including life-saving drugs. Qatar used to procure 50 to 60% of the medicine stocks of supplying companies domiciled in the territories of the GCC states, mostly from the companies located in UAE. Although the shortage of medicine in Qatari markets had lasted for only one day; the period which the Government of Qatar needed for the identification and selection of the new suppliers, the Ministry reported to the Technical Mission team that a search was still underway for alternatives for 276 items, including medications for the treatment of snake bite poisoning cases, as these medications can only be produced from the snakes inhabiting the region; which is no longer available.
Mass violations of international conventions and laws
The report confirms that the actions undertaken by the UAE through the non-compliance with the order of the ICJ for a year and a half, constitute a flagrant breach of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and all the regional and international regulations, laws, treaties and conventions as the UAE had failed to overcome the difficulties faced by the victims of the blockade against the state of Qatar and continued to undertake unilateral arbitrary forcible measures.
The UAE had blatantly violated the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, together with a number of regional and international treaties and conventions, including, inter alia, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Arab Charter on Human Rights, the GCC Human Rights Declaration and the Unified Economic Agreement between the Countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (aimed towards a gulf citizenship; including equal treatment with regard to movement, residence, work, investment, education, health, and social services). The above treaties and instruments hold states responsible for the protection and preservation of the rights and interests of the individuals residing on their territories.
Moreover, the UAE had grossly violated the Chicago Convention (the Convention on International Civil Aviation) and had blocked Qatar airplanes from flying on the UAE lands, territorial seas and airspace, with no military necessity or reasons of public security.
The NHRC emphasizes the below conclusions regarding the repercussions of the Blockade on Qatar:
• Unilateral arbitrary and forcible procedures and measures taken by The UAE has caused a range of violations of civil, economic and social human rights.
• Human rights violations continue because of the unilateral arbitrary and forcible procedures and measures that have been taken by the UAE since 5 June 2017 to date, whereas it has not taken any provisional measures to solve victims’ cases or remedy the damage that had been inflicted upon them after a year and a half of the International Court of Justice’s decision.
• Measures taken by the UAE to punish citizens and residents of the State of Qatar and citizens of the GCC states have been used as a tool for political pressure and a means for managing political disagreements, in a manner that amounts to collective penalties affecting individuals and property.
• The UAE has not established a clear mechanism to implement the International Court of Justice’s decision, whether by identifying or publicizing any mechanism taken that that would be resorted to by the victims in order to regularize their situations. Additionally, it has not dedicated any hotlines for this purpose.
• Discriminatory measures taken by the UAE, hate speech which always tends towards contempt and abuse of Qatari people, as well as defaming prominent figures of the State are all actions amounting to racial discrimination.
• Victims failing continuously to access justice in UAE or to practice their right to legal remedy and fair trial constitutes an obstacle to redressing those victims, compensating them or restoring their rights despite their many attempts. Additionally, the law criminalizing sympathy towards Qatar, which was stipulated by the UAE authorities on 7 June 2017 to state that any form of sympathy with Qatar shall be a punishable offence, has hindered exercising this right as many Emirati law firms have rejected to be agencies for Qataris fearing that would be liable to the penalties prescribed in above mentioned law.
• Measures taken by the UAE in relation to economy, business and investment aim at negatively affect the infrastructure of the national economy of the State of Qatar as well as economic rights of individuals and communities, which forms a serious precedent that could amount to aggression.
• The UAE has failed to observe the minimum conditions for commercial, economic and investment transactions, which confirms the absence of a safe investment environment in a manner that guarantees the rights of investors, owners and workers, as well as lack of freedom of transporting goods and merchandise.
• The UAE has not taken into account the rights of priority groups, i.e. women, children, persons with disabilities and the elderly. Moreover, its arbitrary measures have caused deprivation of education, prevention from work, and violation of the right to health.
• The Blockade crisis has been prolonged as well as tragedies of the victims, their inequity and restoration of their rights, which threatens international peace and security and undermines all mediation efforts.
• The tragedy of separated families continues, which has led to a great disruption of the Gulf’s social fabric, and has aggravated suffering of women and children. This is considered a serious violation to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Convention to Prevent All Forms of Discrimination against Women.
• The UAE has not responded to the demand to rectify the violations and spare victims. All it has done was just a maneuver to improve its image or procrastinate the status quo. Also, mysterious mechanisms lacking credibility that it claimed were established to address the conditions of the victims has not addressed their situation. Moreover, these mechanisms were not communicated to the NHRC despite the Committee’s endeavor to do so.
• Letter sent from the NHRC to the similar national institution and some relevant civil society organizations in UAE were not responded to, and there has been no cooperation on their side since the beginning of the Blockade to date.
• Qatari authorities have not taken arbitrary measures similar to those taken by the UAE, and they have endeavored to contain the crisis and its negative implications on citizens and residents, including citizens of the UAE.
To the International Court of Justice:
1. Take measures to bind the UAE to take all necessary actions aiming at compliance with its commitments and obligations under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and to implement the provisions of the order issued by the International Court of Justice.
2. Compel Parties to develop a clear and transparent mutual work mechanism with regard to all victims and to follow up on its implementation.
3. Take into consideration the cases mentioned in the present report which are brought to court and consider them as part of the official documents of this case.
To the UAE:
1. Immediate lift the Blockade imposed on the State of Qatar.
2. To comply with the ICJ order and immediately implement all measures of order.
3. Revoke all unilateral arbitrary and arbitrary measures and to respect its commitments under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination as well as to redress victims.
4. Develop effective, clear, transparent and reliable mechanisms in cooperation with The Government of Qatar in order to address violations and redress victims.
5. Allow victims to resort to national justice and litigation for the purpose of recovering their rights.
6. Immediate end of defamatory campaigns, hate speech, incitements and hold those responsible for them accountable.
7. Stop making unfounded and illegal arguments in order to arrest and detain Qataris or residents of the State of Qatar and reduce racist actions against them.
8. Allow international organizations, technical missions of the OHCHR and special rapporteurs to conduct field visits to the UAE to verify, monitor and address violations resulting from the Blockade on the State of Qatar.
9. Immediately stop any escalation of the crisis.
To the Government of Qatar:
1. Communicate with the UAE to discuss developing a mutual mechanism to implement the International Court of Justice’s order and to monitor all violations occurring a year and a half after the issuance of the decision.
2. Monitor all violations occurring a year and a half after the issuance of the order and report them to the International Court of Justice and The Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
3. To assign specialized centers to evaluate physical and psychological damage and submit them to all competent authorities, specially the International court of Justice and the Committee against Racial Discrimination, for the purpose of compensating victims.
4. Submit a separate report about the UAE compliance with the order of the International Court of Justice issued a year and a half ago to:
• UN Secretary General.
• President of the International Court of Justice.
• Security Council.
• Human Rights Council.
• Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination