Officials from the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) on Monday met with a delegation from Human Rights Watch (HRW), the latest in the NHRC's efforts in explaining the legal and humanitarian consequences resulting from the severing of ties and the siege imposed by Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain against the State of Qatar.
HRW's delegation was informed of the severe violations committed against the right of residents of the State of Qatar and residents of the three countries as a result of the siege. The delegation met at the headquarters of NHRC with a large number of residents of the State of Qatar affected by the siege to listen to their complaints and the violations of their rights.
The delegation witnessed many cases of violations of the rights of residents from Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Bahrain that resulted from the siege. These violations affected the citizens' right to education, right to own property, right to mobility, and the right to family reunion. Many married couples, who are citizens of these countries, were also forced into separation as a result of these decisions.
The committee received more than 1,750 complaints so far. The majority of those who made those complaints refused to leave their names or take photos due to fears that they could be tracked or could face reprisals from the countries that enforced the siege. Those reprisals could include, prison, or confiscation of property.
Human Rights Watch said that the recent developments were not a diplomatic dispute, but a siege with a heavy humanitarian cost. Meanwhile, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said that the measures taken by the countries that enforced the siege, led to making the lives of thousands of women and children more difficult. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Prince Zeid bin Raad Zeid al-Hussein expressed his alarm regarding the potential impacts that could affect the human rights of many people, following the decision taken by the countries to sever diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar.
Amnesty International condemned the violations that resulted from the siege, and said that the countries which imposed it were manipulating the lives of thousands of people in the GCC. The NHRC, meanwhile, stressed that the siege was collective punishment and crimes against humanity.
Chairman of NHRC Dr Ali bin Sumaikh al-Marri was expected to attend a hearing at the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels to discuss the consequences of the siege in terms of the human rights of the citizens of the State of Qatar and the other three countries.
Al-Marri will also hold meetings with a number of human rights officials in the European Parliament and other international organisations in Brussels.
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