HE the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri has called on the European Union (EU) to take strong, quick measures, and practical steps to condemn the violations that affect thousands of Gulf families as result of the siege imposed on the State of Qatar, similar to the position of the European Parliament, which has consistently blamed those countries for the human rights violations that have affected thousands of families in Qatar and the Gulf states for more than a year.

In a meeting with the Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis, in the Belgian capital, Brussels, Dr al-Marri presented a copy of the fifth report prepared by the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), on the occasion of the siege anniversary.

He stressed that more than a year after the siege imposed on the State of Qatar, citizens and residents of Qatar no longer accept the political positions of some countries, which only had "verbal condemnation" of the violations of the blockading countries, without being followed by practical and deterrent decisions that would triumph over human rights before political interests among States.

Dr al-Marri called on the European Union countries to give priority to human rights in their relations with the countries of the blockade, urging them to triumph over the noble humanitarian principles on which the European Union is based, particularly the defence of human rights issues in different regions of the world.

He also called on the Special Representative of the European Union to inform the representatives of the EU countries that the victims of the blockade are citizens, residents of Qatar and the blockading countries were waiting for more effective and strong positions, to stop violations.

"The EU countries have procedures and mechanisms that enable them to put pressure on the blockading countries urging them to stop their violations, in line with the principles on which the EU institutions were founded," he added.

The NHRC chief invited the Special Representative of the European Union for Human Rights Stavros Lambrinidis to visit the State of Qatar and the rest of the countries, parties of the crisis in order to work to address the humanitarian violations resulting from the siege, pointing out that the visit of the representative of the European Union to find out the repercussions of the siege and its impact on the peoples of the Gulf region, would play a key role and a major contribution to resolving this humanitarian crisis.

During his meeting with Chiara Adamo, head of the Unit for Gender Equality, Human Rights and Democratic Governance of the Department of International Co-operation and Development of the European Union, Dr al-Marri pointed out the disastrous humanitarian impact on children, due to the siege imposed on Qatar.

He said thousands of Qatari, Emirati, Saudi and Bahraini children were deprived of their parents and were prevented from travelling with their parents because their father or mother being of Qatari nationality, stressing that these children were subjected to a "humanitarian crime" which can not be tolerated.

During his meetings in Brussels, the NHRC chief that the silence of States and governments to the continuation of the siege imposed on Qatar for more than a full year, is no longer acceptable.

Dr al-Marri called on the EU countries to show strictness in dealing with human rights violations resulting from the Gulf crisis similar to those dealing with labour rights issues in the Gulf region.

Dr al-Marri also reviewed with Adamo ways of partnership between her department and the NHRC. The co-operation between the two sides is expected to result in the signing of a partnership agreement, particularly for working with national human rights institutions.

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