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NHRC Lauds UN Report On Siege Violations

Photo: Gulf Times

The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) appreciated the UN’s report on siege violations. UN technical mission from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) which visited Doha between November 17 and 24, 2017 prepared the report.

NHRC chairman Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri hailed the report and described it as a first-of-its-kind to be published by UN agency.

“The report unequivocally affirms that the measures taken by the siege countries are arbitrary and unilateral which also explicitly violate international law and the principles of international relations and human rights conventions.

“The report asserts that what happened in Qatar is not only the severance of diplomatic relations but the violations amount to collective punishment.

“The report added that the violations that the citizens, residents and GCC citizens who reside in Qatar face, are not allegations as stated by the siege countries, but are facts confirmed by conclusive evidence,” al-Marri said.

He also explained that the report is an important legal reference which will reflect the diplomatic and legal moves, regionally and internationally.

“It also demonstrates the siege countries’ lack of intention to alleviate the suffering of the victims, but there is persistence and intransigence from those countries to aggravate the humanitarian situation,” he added.

He urged the OHCHR to take further actions on all levels in order to raise the issue of the siege’s repercussions. He also asked OHCHR to communicate with specialised international agencies such as the International Labour Organisation, Unesco, World Trade Organisation and International Civil Aviation Organisation with the aim of sharing information and support complaints against the siege countries.

Al Marri demanded rapid action to address the issues of victims and suggested the technical mission to visit the four blockading countries, to find out the effects of the siege on their citizens and citizens of Qatar.

The NHRC chairman pointed that the UN Office of High Commission for Human Rights will hold a meeting with its Department of Special Procedures to hand over the cases to the UN Special Rapporteurs, according to their competence. It will also meet with the diplomatic missions of the siege countries to the UN in Geneva to inform them of the report.

The report revealed that the measures taken by siege nations were unequal and racist. The report stressed that the actions taken by the siege countries do not differentiate between the government and civilians, especially Qatari nationals, describing that as “dangerous”

It also highlighted the negative and dangerous impact of unilateral measures on the population as a result of the incitement campaigns, media defamation and hate campaigns against Qatar, its leadership and people, adding that most cases affected by the current situation are unresolved and the situation of the victims is likely to continue and worsen.

The report referred to numerous violations such as hate speech, incitement and restrictions on the freedom of expression by the siege countries, as well as violations of the rights to freedom of movement, communication, religious observance and family reunification and the impact on economic rights, the right to property, health and education.

The report also welcomed Qatar’s stand, which did not take any retaliatory measures against the nationals of the siege nations amid crisis.

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