A total of 15 members of parliament (MPs) signed yesterday a petition demanding UK Prime Minister Theresa May to strive for an immediate lifting of the siege against Qatar and encourage the countries blockading the country to respond to Kuwaiti mediation efforts aimed at resolving the crisis.A UK parliamentary delegation which visited Doha during September 27-29 last year called on the British government to compel the siege countries to lift their blockade of Qatar and respond to Kuwaiti mediation efforts. While submitting their conclusions regarding the visit to Doha, they urged Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson to persuade his counterparts in the siege countries to ease measures taken against Qatar in order to put an end to the human rights violations resulting from eight months of the siege.
Four Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the UAE and Egypt, triggered the Gulf crisis by cutting their ties with Qatar on June 5, 2017. They also imposed a blockade of Qatar.
The parliamentary delegation included MPs from the House of Lords and the House of Commons, led by Labour Party member Grahame Morris. They met during their visit to Qatar with a number of the victims and listened to their statements. They also visited a number of ministries such as the Awqaf and Islamic Affairs to listen first hand to witness statements on the Saudi authorities' prevention of Qatari citizens and residents from performing Haj and Umrah.
Their report included a number of recommendations, including calling on the British government to coerce the blockading countries for lifting the siege and encourage the siege countries to engage in dialogue through Kuwaiti mediation.
The report and the petition came as a fitting reward to the efforts of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), which has been working hard to highlight the violations of the siege countries since the beginning of the crisis. President of NHRC Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri visited the UK three times since the beginning of the crisis and held two hearing sessions with British MPs.
He also met with human rights officials at the UK Foreign Office. He also met with Salil Shetty, Secretary-General of Amnesty International, which is headquartered in London, as well as the International Federation of Journalists.