Doha: Millennium Hotel: (7/7/2008): His Excellency Dr. Ali Bin Smaikh al-Mary Secretary General of the National Human Rights Committed (NHRC) yesterday addressed the opening session of the first regional conference of the Regional Programme for Human Rights Activists in the Gulf states and Yemen held at the Millennium Hotel during the period from 6 to 10 July.
Also addressing the opening session was Mr. Abdul Qewi Salem, Executive Director of Yemen‘s Human Rights Information Training Centre (HRITC). Meanwhile, Dr. Youssef Obaidan, a member of the National Human Rights Committee and professor of political science, University of Qatar, and Dr. Ahmed Qassem Hamidi professor of international humanitarian law at the Law Faculty praised the session which they both said aims to develop the skills of human rights activists and journalists who are participating in the session from various Arab Gulf states and Yemen.
In his speech, His Excellency the Secretary General of the National Human Rights Committee highlighted the pivotal role of activists in promoting the process of transition in the field of public awareness of human rights and freedom of opinion and expression from the vicinity of the limited influence of the elite to that of the public at large.
In this respect, H.E. stressed the role of Human Rights activists in the process of consolidating and strengthening the human rights concept amongst the various layers of society.
For his part, Mr. Abdul Qewi Salem, Executive Director of (HRITC) in Yemen, expressed his delight at the session being held in Qatar in close coordination between NHRC and HRITC describing the first as being a major player in the campaign for promoting human rights in the region as a whole.
In statements to reporters Dr Yousef Obaidan disclosed that the objective of the session is to translate words into deeds and to respond to sometimes ill-informed critics from abroad such as the US state department and other governmental and non-governmental organizations with the intention of impressing on them at the same time that Gulf States are determined to give priority to this rather sensitive issue.
Dr. Ahmed Qassem Hamidi meanwhile said the session is being held for the first time to develop the skills of human rights activists and journalists participating in the course from various Arab Gulf states and Yemen. He also expressed gratitude to Qatar for hosting the regional session.