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Thursday, January 18, 2018

NHRC Welcomes UN Report on Siege Countries’ Violations


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The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) welcomed the report submitted by the UN technical mission from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) which visited Doha between Nov. 17 and 24. The visit took place to investigate the repercussions of the siege on the human right practices and the humanitarian situation of the citizens, residents and GCC citizens who stay in Qatar.

NHRC Chairman Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri praised the results of the report despite of some observations concerning the statistics of the affected Qataris due to the measures taken by the siege countries, in addition to not shedding enough light on some violations.

Al Marri said this report is its first of its kind to be published by an intergovernmental organization the size of the United Nations, where it condemns the siege countries and documents the worst violations of its arbitrary procedures and measures. It also 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 also affirms that what happened in the State of 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 the State of Qatar face, are not allegations as stated by the siege countries, but are facts confirmed by conclusive evidence, Al Marri said.

NHRC chairman reiterated that the report is an important legal reference which will reflect the diplomatic and legal moves, regionally and internationally. It will 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.

Al Marri called on the OHCHR to take further steps on all levels of international human rights mechanisms and the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC), to raise the issue of the siege's repercussions in the general report of the Secretary-General of the UN, the report of the High Commissioner for Human Rights at the next session of the UNHRC and the reports of UN special rapporteurs to the UNHRC.

He also called on the OHCHR to communicate with specialized international agencies such as the International Labor Organization, UNESCO, World Trade Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization in aim to share information and support complaints against the siege countries. In addition, Al Marri called for rapid action to address the issues of siege violations victims and invite the technical mission to visit the four countries, to find out the effects of the siege on their citizens and citizens of the State of Qatar.

NHRC Chairman Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri advised the Qatari government not to accept any solution to the crisis or any negotiations before ending the violations and repudiation of the victims, adding that it is necessary to rely on the report of the technical mission in supporting complaints to the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and UNESCO.

Dr. Al-Marri called on the government to move swiftly in international and regional forums to lift the injustice on the victims and move on the level of the Human Rights Council to present a draft resolution on the repercussions of the siege on the citizens and residents of the State of Qatar to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

He stressed the need to resort to the International Court of Justice and arbitration committees as well as national and international specialized courts to bring the perpetrators of inflammatory campaigns, hate speech and calls for violence from the countries of siege to justice, especially the officials of those States for the hostility and incitement crimes which contradict international as well as local laws. The National Committee has monitored and documented all the inciting campaigns carried by the officials of the siege countries to take legal actions thereon.

Dr. Al Marri also called on the Compensation Commission to expedite the procedures of litigation and international arbitration, adding that the International Law Office appointed by the commission should rely on the merits of the technical mission's report.

He urged the siege countries to deal positively and immediately with the findings in the report of the technical mission of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to abolish all the unilateral arbitrary measures, respect their commitments in accordance with international human rights law, immediately lift violations, redress victims, allow access to the substantive mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, allow field visits to special rapporteurs and international human rights organizations and to allow victims to resort to national justice to restore their rights, immediately cease defamation campaigns, hate speech and inflammatory calls and to hold those responsible accountable.

Dr. Al Marri said that the NHRC will circulate the report to all international organizations and the global coalition of national human rights institutions and discuss, with these organizations, a mechanism to move at the national, regional and international levels. NHRC will also share the report with all parliaments of the world and the human rights mechanisms in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

He added that the NHRC will also present the report's findings at the Human Rights Council and the United Nations human rights mechanisms and will follow up on cases with United Nations Special Rapporteurs, in accordance with their mandate, and with some specialized international agencies such as the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNESCO.

NHRC Chairman Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri advised the Qatari government not to accept any solution to the crisis or any negotiations before ending the violations and repudiation of the victims, adding that it is necessary to rely on the report of the technical mission in supporting complaints to the World Trade Organization (WTO), International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and UNESCO.

Dr. Al-Marri called on the government to move swiftly in international and regional forums to lift the injustice on the victims and move on the level of the Human Rights Council to present a draft resolution on the repercussions of the siege on the citizens and residents of the State of Qatar to the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council.

He stressed the need to resort to the International Court of Justice and arbitration committees as well as national and international specialized courts to bring the perpetrators of inflammatory campaigns, hate speech and calls for violence from the countries of siege to justice, especially the officials of those States for the hostility and incitement crimes which contradict international as well as local laws. The National Committee has monitored and documented all the inciting campaigns carried by the officials of the siege countries to take legal actions thereon.
Dr. Al Marri also called on the Compensation Commission to expedite the procedures of litigation and international arbitration, adding that the International Law Office appointed by the commission should rely on the merits of the technical mission's report.

He urged the siege countries to deal positively and immediately with the findings in the report of the technical mission of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to abolish all the unilateral arbitrary measures, respect their commitments in accordance with international human rights law, immediately lift violations, redress victims, allow access to the substantive mission of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, allow field visits to special rapporteurs and international human rights organizations and to allow victims to resort to national justice to restore their rights, immediately cease defamation campaigns, hate speech and inflammatory calls and to hold those responsible accountable.

Dr. Al Marri said that the NHRC will circulate the report to all international organizations and the global coalition of national human rights institutions and discuss, with these organizations, a mechanism to move at the national, regional and international levels. NHRC will also share the report with all parliaments of the world and the human rights mechanisms in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council.

He added that the NHRC will also present the report's findings at the Human Rights Council and the United Nations human rights mechanisms and will follow up on cases with United Nations Special Rapporteurs, in accordance with their mandate, and with some specialized international agencies such as the International Labor Organization (ILO) and UNESCO.

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 United Nations Special Rapporteurs, according to their competence. It will also meet with the diplomatic missions of the siege countries to the United Nations in Geneva to inform them of the report.

The report of the substantive mission of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights officially described the measures taken by the siege countries as arbitrary unilateral measures, in accordance with the United Nations definition and standards. pointing that they were unequal and racist and that such measures were not officially reported and had no legal motives.

The report stressed that the actions taken by the siege countries do not differentiate between the government and civilians, especially the Qatari nationals, describing that as "dangerous". It also described the economic effects of the siege as amounting to economic wars. Despite the State of Qatar's ability to absorb them, the economic effects on individuals are still large psychologically and materially, the report said.

The report 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.

Meanwhile, the report praised the positions of the Government of the State of Qatar, which did not take retaliatory measures against the nationals of the siege countries lauding Qatar's role in the search for solutions to the worsening humanitarian cases of the victims.

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.

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