The National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) yesterday said it has received a complaint from the family of Qatari citizen Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali al-Thani, confirming his continued detention and restriction of movement by the Emirati authorities, the official Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported.
In a statement, the NHRC said it has reviewed the video disseminated across media platforms which showed Sheikh Abdullah complaining of being arbitrarily detained by authorities in the UAE and expressing fears of being harmed.
“The National Human Rights Committee affirms the illegality of this measure and its violation of all international and regional human rights conventions, instruments and understandings, and it holds the Emirati authorities responsible for the safety and security of this Qatari citizen and demands his immediate release,” the statement said.
Calling on the international community, international and regional governments, world organisations and non-government organisations to intervene quickly to ensure the safety and release of the Qatari national, NHRC demanded to hold the Emirati authorities responsible for this violation.
Further, the NHRC said it has taken immediate action and informed the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and several international organisations about the violation and requested that they immediately intervene with the Emirati authorities to release him and offer all necessary protection.
Sheikh Abdullah had released a video statement, also broadcast by Qatar-based Al Jazeera television on Sunday in which he expressed apprehension that he might be harmed and the blame could be put on Qatar. Responding to this, foreign ministry spokesperson HE Lulua al-Khater had told QNA that Qatar was closely monitoring the situation.
Meanwhile, in an interview to Al Jazeera TV yesterday, Sheikh Abdullah’s brother Sheikh Khalid bin Ali bin Abdullah al-Thani said that the information about his brother coming from the UAE was confusing, particularly regarding his travel destination and his accompanying family.
He said Sheikh Abdullah had to be hospitalised in Abu Dhabi yesterday due to the pressure put on him by the UAE authorities. Sheikh Khalid said his brother had some health problems because of the exhaustion and pressure exerted on him. However, Sheikh Khalid affirmed that his health was stable.
Describing the circumstances surrounding Sheikh Abdullah in the UAE as worrisome, his brother Sheikh Khalid said the family has filed a complaint with Qatar National Human Rights Committee and other international organisations asking for help to ensure his safety.
He pointed out that UAE officials had earlier informed Sheikh Abdullah that they would allow him to travel to the UK, where he wanted to go. However, they went back on their word and told him that he could not travel because his passport was ‘suspended’ by the Qatari authorities, while the passport was actually valid.
Sheikh Khalid also said UAE officials told his brother that his two daughters, who are accompanying him, could travel to the UK while he stayed in the UAE but he rejected the proposal.
Sheikh Khalid said that his brother told him that the UAE officials sometimes used to tell him that they would deport him and other times they used to tell him that they would allow him to travel to his destination of choice.
On the video posted on Sunday, Sheikh Abdullah said that he was detained in Abu Dhabi after being hosted by crown prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahiyan, and cautioned that the crown prince of Abu Dhabi would be responsible for any harm that might befall him.
Earlier on Sunday, the Emirati news agency said Sheikh Abdullah was a guest of UAE and he had left for a destination of his choice but withdrew the report yesterday.
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