We call on the State of Qatar to resort to the Security Council to determine the responsibility of the countries of the blockade on their actions which amount to the crime of aggression
We welcome the complaint made by the State of Qatar to the Committee against Racial Discrimination and the International Court of Justice
The decision of the International Court of Justice is binding on the UAE and the Security Council may intervene to implement it
We call on the International Court of Justice to issue an advisory opinion concerning the wrongful acts and measures of the blockading States
Qatar has to contract with an international psychosocial center to assess the extent of psychological damage to victims of embargo violations
We call on the Qatari government to sue Saudi Arabia for religious worship and violation of the right to perform religious rituals
The High Commissioner has been a source of inspiration to all human rights advocates despite the pressures and challenges he faced during his tenure
Geneva, 22 June 2018
Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al-Marri, Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee, called on the United Nations Human Rights Council to suspend the membership of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Council due to gross and systematic violations committed against the Qatari people. While calling on the Qatari government to resort to the Security Council to determine the responsibility of the countries of the blockade on the illegal measures and wrongful acts committed by the countries of the blockade against Qatar, which amount to the crime of aggression and economic war and collective punishment against the people of Qatar. Al-Marri said at a press conference held at the United Nations in Geneva: We call for the suspension of membership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the Human Rights Council in accordance with Article 8 of UN General Assembly Resolution No. 60/251 of 15 March 2006 on the establishment of the Human Rights Council. Al Marri called on The Human Rights Council to issue a resolution against human rights violations resulting from the blockade and taking into account the calls and reports issued by the Special Rapporteurs and the report of the technical mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. Al-Marri called on the council to request further action of the special rapporteurs and to visit the State of Qatar and the countries of the blockade to identify violations, meet with the victims and report on the violations to the Human Rights Council. Al Marri also invited the Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights to assume his responsibilities in accordance with the functions entrusted to him by the Council to conduct a comprehensive review of the impact of unilateral arbitrary measures on the human rights and humanitarian situation of citizens and residents of the State of Qatar, in accordance with Articles 16 and 18 of UN the General Assembly at its 73rd session adopted on 29 August 2017. Al Marri called on the Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers to work to enable victims to the right to litigation and recourse to the courts on the States of the blockade to restore their rights. While Dr. Ali bin Samikh called on the High Commissioner for Human Rights to take urgent action to address the violations and the foundations of the report of the UN technical mission, which visited Qatar in December 2017.
Al Marri also welcomed Qatar’s complaint before the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the complaint before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to determine the UAE’s international responsibility and compensation for victims in accordance with article 22 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. The Qatari government also called for intensive diplomatic action to seek a resolution from the UN General Assembly requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the illegality of arbitrary unilateral measures taken by the countries of the blockade. Al-Marri stressed the importance of prosecuting the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by the State of Qatar and those affected by the politicization of religious rituals, violation of the right to worship and prevention of pilgrims from the State of Qatar to exercise their right; pointing out that the NHRC will provide all means of legal support for this purpose to address the psychological damage to individuals and material losses to the offices of Hajj and Umrah campaigns.
Dr. Al-Marri during the press conference discussed the repercussions of the violations after a year of the blockade of Qatar; pointing out that the National Human Rights Committee issued its annual report after a year of the blockade and confirmed the continuity of the violations so far and that the victims still suffer in silence despite all the statements issued by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the calls and urgent appeals issued by 7 special rapporteurs including the special rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, xenophobia and related intolerance, the Special Rapporteur on the right to education, the Special Rapporteur on freedom of religion or belief, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants and the Special Rapporteur on The right to freedom of opinion and expression, the Special Rapporteur on the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health and the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights while countering terrorism.
The chairman of the National Human Rights Committee said: Despite the report of the technical mission of the High Commissioner visited Qatar, as well as the European Parliament’s decision and reports and statements of condemnation from international organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders and the International Federation, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are still intransigent and ignore these calls. Al Marri pointed out that during the year of the blockade, the NHRC monitored 4105 complaints, which included 12 kinds of violations, namely: the right to movement, the right to reside, the right to family reunification, the right to health and the right to work, the right to practice religious rites, Property, the right to litigation, the right to freedom of expression, enforced disappearances, arbitrary detention, the right to be free from hate speech and incitement; “These violations continue to be a major challenge for the international community and it is time to move from condemnation to legal action to hold those countries accountable for their crimes,” he said. It is unreasonable for members of the Human Rights Council, such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, to besiege an entire people and inflict collective punishment in full view of the Human Rights Council and the international community. Al-Marri added: “As human rights organizations and human rights advocates, we cannot be silent and let these countries violate their obligations and tamper with international conventions and charters of human rights. This is a flagrant violation not only against the State of Qatar but also international law and the principles of the United Nations”. Al Marri pointed out that since the beginning of the blockade, these countries have built their strategy to deny violations and to question all international statements and reports, this even reached to the limit of the accusation of the High Commissioner and the long-standing organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch as belonging and funded by the State of Qatar; and unfortunately these countries are members of the Human Rights Council. Al Marri also said that the countries of the blockade have tried during the blockade crisis and after the failure of the policy of denial and treachery, which was followed by other tricks that inspired the international community to establish national mechanisms for committees and hotlines to deal with emergency humanitarian situations with mechanisms that lack credibility and seriousness in finding a solution to the violations resulting from the blockade.
The Chairman of the NHRC stated that one of the most important conclusions of the report of the National Committee was that the unilateral measures taken by the blockading States caused a wide range of violations of human rights including civil, political, economic, social and cultural, and that the actions taken by States amount to the crime of aggression. It also punishes citizens and residents of the State of Qatar and the citizens of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries and has been used as a tool for political pressure and a means of managing political disputes, amounting to collective punishment of individuals. These measures are illegal and discriminatory, amounting to the crime of racism and its purpose in the economic, commercial and investment fields is targeting and striking the infrastructure of Qatar’s national economy and damaging the economic rights of individuals and communities in a critical precedent that amounts to the crime of aggression and economic war.
Al-Marri said: “The findings of the annual report of the blockading violations on Qatar confirmed that there is no response from the countries of the blockade to address and stop the escalating violations and that the continuation of the tragedy of the dispersed families will greatly disrupt the social fabric of the Gulf and exacerbate the suffering of women and children in violation of The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.” Al Marri added that our presence in this international forum is to convey the suffering of children, women, people with disabilities and workers affected by the blockade and to address the free world for more pressure on these countries. In response to a question about the nature of the complaint submitted by the State of Qatar to the International Court of Justice, Al-Marri said: “The decisions of the International Court of Justice are mandatory and the Security Council may intervene to implement them.”
Regarding the complaint, Al-Marri explained that the first stage for the court is to demand that the UAE stop the violations as a precautionary or preventive measure especially for serious cases. The next stage is to look into the issue of the complaint and to decide on it and to approve the compensation. The court may agree on the amount of compensation. He said: I repeat here that the action taken by Qatar against the UAE before the International Court of Justice was done in accordance with Article 22 of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination which was not reserved by the UAE unlike other countries of the blockade. The Charter of the United Nations also gives the right to complain Before the International Court of Justice, but with the consent of other States. Al-Marri said: “We are now exploring and studying all other international procedures and agreements to try and hold accountable the countries of the blockade. The International Court of Justice has a second competence to provide advisory opinions, which are not binding, but constitute an important and reliable rule of law in initiate complaints and issuing international resolutions. The General Assembly, the Security Council and specialized international agencies determined by the Court may request an advisory opinion from International Court of Justice. Al Marri called on the Government of Qatar to intensify diplomatic efforts to issue a resolution of the General Assembly requesting an advisory opinion from the International Court of Justice on the illegality of unilateral measures taken by the blockading states. At the end of the press conference, Al Marri extended his thanks to the High Commissioner for Human Rights for all his efforts to solve the humanitarian crisis caused by the blockade crisis and its efforts in addressing cases of violations in the world.