Al Marri calls on EU countries to turn away from neutrality towards Gulf Crisis

 07 Feb 2018 - 12:13

Al Marri calls on EU countries to turn away from neutrality towards Gulf Crisis
File photo of Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri


Paris: Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr. Ali bin Smaikh Al Marri has called on the European Union countries and some other countries to turn away from the position of neutrality towards the Gulf crisis and to join international human rights organizations calling for an immediate end to the siege imposed on Qatar eight months ago, in order to defend human rights. He noted that neutrality is not allowed, because impartiality may amount to collusion and encourage those involved to continue their violations of human rights, which are criminalized by international laws and conventions.

Dr. Al-Marri stressed that the issuance of an official report from the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, condemning the siege expressly and recognizes the occurrence of discriminatory and arbitrary violations against the people of Qatar, dropped all the arguments and justifications that were based on some States and organizations to justify their neutrality.

This came in a statement by Dr. Al Marri, who is currently visiting France as part of a European tour including Germany, along with a number of French Foreign Ministry officials.

Al-Marri discussed with the French officials the repercussions of the unjust siege imposed on Qatar since June 5, and the efforts exerted by the National Committee for the Defense of the Victims and the legal procedures initiated to follow up those involved in the violations.
He also reviewed the conclusions contained in the report of the substantive mission of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights on the effects of the siege.

Al-Marri stressed that more than 8 months after the unjust siege, despite all the international and legal reports that condemned it, the four countries of the siege did not show any willingness to retreat from their arbitrary measures, in disregard of all warnings issued by human rights organizations, the most recent of which was the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, as the first official report of the most important international organization, which explicitly and directly condemned the violations of the siege countries and called for their immediate cessation.

The siege countries have not only ignored the report of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, but went so far as to question the credibility of the UN body, accusing it of bias to the State of Qatar, in a behavior that reflects the practice of the siege countries since the beginning of the crisis, a challenge to international human rights organizations, and the refusal to deal with them, at a time when Qatar was open and responsive to all human rights organizations, and opened the doors to monitor the repercussions of the siege and listen to the testimony of those affected directly, without restrictions.

Asked about the role of France and EU countries, Dr Al Marri said France has been a key and important venue to adopting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It must maintain this privileged position in protecting the rights and ensuring redress for victims, he said, calling for more efforts by the French diplomacy to raise the repercussions of the siege, especially during meetings with officials of the siege countries and at the meetings of the European Union.

He appreciated the French officials' understanding of the concerns of the National Human Rights Committee, stressing the appreciation of the NHRC for the position of French civil society and human rights organizations which stood since the beginning and sympathized with the tragedy of the victims of the siege.

He added that France and the European Union countries, which have an honorable record in the defense of human rights and the enactment of strict laws that make these rights a priority and above any political calculations or interests, have to play a decisive and essential role in ending the tragedies caused by the siege states due to their gross violations of human rights which affected citizens and residents of Qatar and the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.

In the past, we have been hearing from officials in some countries and in human rights organizations that they cannot take firm measures and positions that are openly and strongly condemning the siege countries, under the pretext of the absence of a formal UN report, and the pretext of giving an opportunity for Kuwaiti mediation and international efforts to resolve the crisis. Today, after the release of an official report by the technical mission of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, all excuses made by the siege countries have been exposed, just as all the arguments and justifications that doubt the occurrence of serious violations of human rights or take the pretext of non-condemnation of the siege are dropped.

Al Marri warned that the persistence of some countries and human rights organizations in their silence or neutral stance encourages the siege countries to continue their violations, considering this a crime against human rights which the European countries and the free world have always been defending.

The European and Western capitals should give priority to the issue of human rights over economic interests and consider them a priority issue in the agenda of their foreign relations with the siege countries, because the impact on human rights affects security and the continuation of the crisis poses a serious threat to international peace and security, he added.

"We, at the National Human Rights Committee, call on France, the governments of the world and human rights organizations to make a strong voice in defending the rights of citizens and residents of Qatar and the GCC countries, and to put pressure on the siege countries to stop their violations out of defending the human rights and ensuring redress for victims who have been affected for more than eight months and deprived of the most basic rights, primarily the right to movement, ownership, family reunification, education, health, and the practice of religious rites," Dr Al Marri said at the conclusion of his meeting with officials of the French Foreign Ministry and the French Parliament.

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