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UN Rapporteur stresses that Saudi measures against Qatar involve human rights violations

لقرائته بالعربية اضغط هنا

The UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights, Alena Douhan, has stated that the sanctions imposed on Qatar by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and other nations have harmed Qataris’ ability to enjoy many basic rights and freedoms related to family life, education, work, health, private property, religion, expression, and access to justice.

In a 12 November 2020 statement released at the end of her two-week visit to Qatar, Ms. Douhan urged Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Egypt (the Four States) to drop the sanctions imposed on Qatar in 2017.

Ms. Douhan said that the sanctions have affected Qatari students studying abroad, as well as Muslims wishing to perform the Hajj and Umrah pilgrimages to Saudi Arabia.

The Rapporteur noted that she had met many victims of human rights violations stemming from the sanctions, including spouses in mixed marriages and their children, migrant workers who have lost their jobs and benefits, and Qatari citizens who had jobs or companies in the Four States.

The Four States imposed extensive sanctions on Qatar in June 2017, accusing it of supporting terrorism and having close ties with Iran. They also closed their land, air, and sea borders and airspace to Qataris.

Ms. Douhan emphasized that the unilateral measures are illegal unless authorized by the international Security Council or used as countermeasures. Similarly, these measures must also not violate basic human rights.

She called on the countries to resume cooperation and settle political disputes on the basis of the rule of law.

ESOHR notes that Saudi Arabia has repeatedly disregarded human rights in the unilateral measures it has taken with a number of nations. In these cases, political issues and Saudi Arabia’s positions have a direct and negative impact on the human rights of its citizens and others.

For example, the measures Saudi Arabia took against Canada, which were in response to the latter’s criticism of recent human rights violations, affected the right to learn for thousands of Saudi exchange students in Canada, as the Saudi government tried forcing them to return home. This also occurred in recent measures against Turkey, which included forcing Saudi companies to boycott Turkish goods, thereby threatening their economic rights.

ESOHR stresses that arbitrary, unilateral measures are the result of the absence of good governance and the concentration of power in the hands of the King and Crown Prince. In this regard, ESOHR emphasizes that the two royals rule without any input from or role for individuals, and instead completely disregard their citizens’ rights.

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