UN urged to implement findings on Qatar blockade

NHRC urges immediate implementation of UN report that found Saudi-led blockade on Qatar was 'without legal basis'.

    The diplomatic crisis started when Saudi-led bloc imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar in June 2017 [Yannis Behrakis/Reuters]
    The diplomatic crisis started when Saudi-led bloc imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar in June 2017 [Yannis Behrakis/Reuters]

    Qatar's Human Rights Committee has called on the UN to "immediately" implement the findings of a report which concluded that a blockade imposed by neighbouring countries against Doha was "without legal basis".

    The National Committee for Human Rights (NHRC) called on the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (OHCHR) to implement the findings of the November 2017 report, which found the actions carried out by Saudi Arabia, the UAEBahrain and Egypt against Qatar to be discriminatory, without legal basis, and amounted to "economic warfare".

    According to the OHCHR report, the measures taken by the quartet last June were unilateral, coercive and arbitrary and had a permanent effect on the union of families and the social fabric of the region as a whole.

    On June 5, the four Arab countries severed diplomatic, trade and travel ties with Qatar, accusing it of supporting "terrorism".

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    Doha has repeatedly denied the allegations as "baseless," while the four countries have failed to provide any evidence for their claims.

    Later that month they issued a 13-point list of demands, including the shutdown of Al Jazeera, limiting ties with Iran, and expelling Turkish troops stationed in the country as a prerequisite to lifting the blockade.

    Doha rejected the demands denouncing them as an attempt to infringe on Qatar's sovereignty.

    "The NHRC calls upon the OHCHR to continue its efforts and to immediately move according to the foundations of the Mission's report ... to ensure an immediate end to the blockade and the suffering of the victims," Wednesday's statement by the NHRC said.

    'Racist' blockade

    Earlier this month, Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, the chairman of NHRC said the report proved the blockade was arbitrary and racist in nature.

    "This report shows without a spec of doubt that these procedures undertaken by blockading countries are not mere diplomatic severing of relations, they are not just an economic boycott," he said.

    He also pointed out the OHCHR team reached out to the blockading countries before releasing the report, but received no response.

    OHCHR representatives conducted interviews with 20 government and non-governmental organisations, and 40 victims during the course of their evaluation.

    Before the crisis, GCC citizens enjoyed a great deal of freedom of movement between the six member states, and close tribal ties, meaning that over generations, thousands of intermarriages have been celebrated between Qataris and other GCC citizens.

    Blockade on Qatar 'toying' with people's lives

    Inside Story

    Blockade on Qatar 'toying' with people's lives

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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