The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) of the State of Qatar has released a report documenting the violations against the citizens of the four Gulf states following the decision by three Gulf states (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, and the Kingdom of Bahrain) to cut ties with Qatar, and impose a land blockade with shutting down the air and sea routes. Additionally, these three states notified their citizens that they have to leave the State of Qatar within 14 days, and banned Qatari citizens from entering their lands.
The report notes that 13,314 at least were directly affected by that decisions. The violations included family separations, violations to the right to travel, education, work, freedom of opinion, residency and ownership.
The report adds that Not only did the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Kingdom of Bahrain took severe, escalated, shocking steps on 5 June, 2017, that involved the shutdown of sea, land, and air routes in the face of trades, but also in the face of the Gulf Citizen in a series of actions never witnessed before by the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), disregarding all human rights and humanitarian standards and principles and their legal repercussions.
According to the report, hundreds of complaints have been submitted to the NHRC via e-mail, phone, or personal visits to the NHRC headquarters in Doha, Qatar’s capital. According to data collected by NHRC, approximately 11,387 citizens from the three blockading states live in Qatar, and approximately 1927 Qatari citizens live in those states. All of those people have been affected in different areas and sectors to varying degrees. In some cases, the actions of the blockading states separated a mother from her children.
The report stresses that NHRC appreciates and esteems the step taken by Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and UAE to show sympathy for the joint Saudi-Qatari, Bahraini-Qatari, and Emirati-Qatari families, adding that this a step in the right direction. The report, however, calls on the three states to clarify the execution mechanisms, firstly, and, secondly, emphasizes that it has to include all human rights and legal areas
Dr. Ali al Marri, chairman of NHRC, says:
“The Conflict Resolution Commission of the GCC has to play its role in resolving the ongoing rift, and even more vitally when the conflict directly affects the lives and principle rights of a large number of the GCC states citizens.”
NHRC team recorded roughly 764 complaints for various types of violations against citizens of the four Gulf states between 5 June, the date on which the blockade, ban, and boycott started, and Monday dawn 12 June, where the work methodology draws upon visits by the victims to the NHRC headquarters and the special forms that NHRC prepared and were filled by the victims with detailed information, in addition to attaching copes of the victims’ I.D., while some victims attached university and school reports, work contracts, family statements, and other documents that are available in the committee archive.
The report notes that an individual might be the object of more than one type of violations. The report highlights two testimonies or more from the victims for each violation type. Also, the report includes a table that breaks down the violations by their type and the violator state:
|Complaint/Country||Education||Ownership||Family Separation||Travel||Health||Religious Practices||Work||Residency||Total|
The report stresses that what has been documented is still the bare minimum, considering that many of those whose rights were violated don’t know of the existence of any mechanisms for complaint submission. In addition, many of them seriously fear that retaliatory actions could be taken against them by their countries’ local authorities if they contacted or submitted a compliant, in light of unprecedented punitive actions by the three states for merely sympathizing with the State of Qatar.
The report notes that the Qatari government didn’t take any action against the citizens of the three states, and we didn’t receive any complaint of that nature.
The report says that the government of KSA, UAE, and Bahrain Kingdom have violated in those decisions a number of principle international human rights laws and rules, which are ones of the most fundamental human rights. For the simplicity and unanimity these rules enjoy, and their wide applications, these rules are treated as international norms. These resolutions blatantly violate a number of articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Most notably: 5,9,12,13,19,23, and 26) and other Articles in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (most notably Part III of Article 6, and Articles 10 and 13) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Part II of Article 2), in addition to Articles in the: Arab Charter on Human Rights (Articles 3,8,26,32, and 33), the GCC Declarations of Human Rights (Articles 6, 9, 14, 24, and 27), and the Economic Agreement between the GCC States. Therefore, those states are responsible for protecting and preserving the rights and interests of the individuals living on their lands.
The report calls on the United Nations and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to take speedy steps to bind the states that made these abusive decisions to repeal them.
Additionally, the report calls on the OHCHR to prepare reports and statements documenting the various types of violations that affected great numbers of people, especially the families that were separated, including the terrifying ramifications on women and children as a result of the separation of their families. Also, the OHCHR has to call on these states to respect the basic freedoms of the people living on their lands.
The report calls on the Human Rights Council to take every possible action in order to end the blockade and its ramifications, and call for the compensation of all people who were harmed and affected.
Moreover, the report calls on Human Rights Council Special Rapporteurs to document forms on the various types of violations that occurred, and contact certain governments in that regard as soon as possible. The report asserts that NHRC is fully prepared to share all the data it possesses.
In addition, the report emphasizes that Sectarianist General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and especially The High Council’s Conflict Resolution Commission, has to move as quickly as possible and do everything in its power to convince the states’ governments to start settling the social, civil, and cultural situation for the families and citizens.
The report calls on KSA, UAE, and Kingdom of Bahrain to respect the uniqueness of the Gulf societies, and to refrain from making any decisions that sever the nexuses between families and societies even further, and to repeal these decisions as quickly as possible.
Also, the report calls on those states to respect the basic human rights in travel, ownership, work, residency, and expression of opinion that are stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Third: International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, and the Arab Charter on Human Rights.
Also, the report says that those states should see it that the political developments don’t impact the humanitarian and social areas, and cease its use as a leverage card, which is a violation to the international law and the international human rights law.
Finally, the report calls on those states to respect the holiness of the Holy Month of Ramadan, repeal all decisions, and end the blockade before Eid al-Fitr.