Complaints continue to pour in over siege

 18 Sep 2017 - 8:55

Complaints continue to pour in over siege
A member of the Compensation Claims Committee receiving a complaint from a citizen.

By Sidi Mohamed | The Peninsula

The Compensation Claims Committee, which was established to protect the rights of residents, continues to receive complaints from people affected by the ongoing illegal blockade on Qatar. The committee has so far received 6,297 complaints. 

“Until now, the committee has received more than 6,000 complaints and hundreds of calls from affected residents asking about the process of filing their complaints,” an official at the Committee told The Peninsula.

The committee has also received 197 complaints from Qatar Chamber, and is expected to receive more in the next coming days, because the Chamber has received over 600 complaints from companies.

It has evaluated the damages and has legal experts to study every case. After studying them, the cases are sent to an international law firm. Most of the cases the committee has received have been transferred to the law firm, the source added.

A weekly meeting was held recently by the Committee to study the cases and remove any obstacles. The Committee is still receiving complaints at its headquarters at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center (DECC). It will continue to receive all cases of residents affected by the blockade and its closure will be announced through official gazette.

A few people still come to register their cases, because most of the affected citizens have already submitted their complaints in the first weeks after the Committee was set up. 

A majority of people have lost their real estate assets due to the siege. Some of these assets were for personal use while some were part of their investment.

A high percentage of the complaints is from residents who have lost their properties, because many people had invested in these countries. These countries were encouraging people to invest in their real estate. The investors never expected such problems to happen. They thought that any political dispute will be solved amicably and residents would not be pulled into the controversy, said a visitor to the committee who didn’t want to give his name.

The second category which was affected more by the blockade is students who have been banned and are not allowed to complete their studies in the siege countries. They were banned to take any papers related to their studies. Qatar University and other universities have received those students.

Also, animals owners have lost hundreds of their camels and their loss is estimated to be in millions of riyals.

The statistics say that there are more than 22,000 camels and other livestock seized in Saudi Arabia, and their owners are not allowed to take them from Saudi Arabia. They are also barred from sending fodder to their camels.

Many of the citizens have tried to bring back their animals but their efforts failed as the Saudi government denied entry to them.

Citizens are saying that these animals are living in danger because no one is there to take care of them. At the Committee headquarters, The Peninsula met a citizen who said that he had around 100 camels and two vehicles and he didn’t know anything about them. He had come to the headquarters to submit his complaint. 

And the most important thing is the families which were separated for no reason and still can’t understand it especially since the Gulf countries lived like a single family and belonged to the same tribes.

Also, there are many humanitarian cases. Many families from the siege countries wish to stay in Qatar, but they fear that their governments would punish them and would not renew their documents if they choose to stay here.

The committee was formed on July 9, and is chaired by the Attorney General and includes representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice as members with the possibility of coordination with several bodies in the State.

It was inaugurated by Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani.

Free legal consultation

A group of lawyers have decided to offer free consultations to the affected persons. Issa Al Sulaiti, who is offering free consultation, said that around 15 lawyers were providing free legal consultations to residents on how to submit their documents. “We have received about 30 calls from people affected by the blockade asking different questions about how to file their cases, and we still welcome it”, he added.

He also said that “people must get their rights and should get compensation even if the dispute is solved because the political issue and legal issue are different.