HE the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC), Dr Ali bin Smaikh al-Marri, has urged the French government and parliament to include the violations resulting from the blockade imposed on Qatar on the agenda of meetings between French officials and their counterparts from the blockade countries, while calling for a strong partnership with the NHRC to defend and promote human rights in Qatar and the world, parallel to the strategic dialogue announced between Doha and Paris.
This came during two meetings held by Dr al-Marri in Paris with President of the French National Assembly (Parliament) Richard Ferrand, and Minister of Justice of France Nicole Belloubet.
Dr al-Marri also briefed the French officials on the latest repercussions of the blockade imposed on Qatar and the efforts of the NHRC to end the violations that the countries of the blockade continue to commit.
He noted that after June 5, 2017, most of the complaints reported to the headquarters of the NHRC or via hotlines and other means of communication were mainly those committed by the blockade countries concerning the rights of citizens and residents of Qatar.
He also presented a brief overview of the human rights situation in Qatar and the latest efforts by the Qatari government in issuing legislations and reforming laws on workers' rights and human rights in general, in co-operation with the NHRC, as well as the ratification of the International Covenants on Human Rights.
During his meeting with the President of the French National Assembly, HE Chairman of the NHRC demanded that the repercussions of the humanitarian crisis be discussed during the regular meetings of the French National Assembly, especially during the hearing sessions for the French ministers to discuss the human rights situation in the world and France's efforts to stop violations which take place in different parts of the world, out of the importance attached by France to the protection of human rights.
Dr Al Marri stressed that the continuation of the Gulf political crisis cannot in any way be a reason to deepen the violations of human rights and disregard the continued suffering of thousands of separated families and students expelled from the universities of the blockade countries as a result of the discriminatory procedures affecting citizens and residents of Qatar.
In his meeting with the French Minister of Justice, Dr al-Marri stressed the need to strengthen the partnership between the NHRC, the French Ministry of Justice and various French institutions and bodies in the field of human rights development and promotion.
He noted the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding over the past years, such as the Ombudsman of the French Republic.
Dr al-Marri praised the launch of the strategic dialogue between Qatar and France, hoping that the political dialogue will be accompanied by a continuous dialogue and a strong partnership in the field of human rights, exchange of experiences and expertise between the governments of the two countries and human rights bodies and institutions.
He stressed the important role that the French government can play in addressing the human rights violations resulting from the Gulf crisis, calling for taking up the serious violations of human rights during meetings of the French government and officials with the blockade countries, in line with the principles laid down by the French Republic (Freedom, Justice, Equality) and France's unwavering commitment to defend human rights in various regions of the world as an important part of achieving security, peace and stability in the world, as stated by French President Emmanuel Macron in his recent visit to the Middle East region.
In this context, Dr al-Marri called on the French government to take action to put an end to the politicisation of its long-standing educational and cultural institutions, citing the expulsion of Qatari students from the Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi, as well as the distortion of the geographical facts of a geographical map in the Louvre Abu Dhabi Museum, calling on the French government to take effective action to protect its educational and cultural values, including asking the officials of the Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi to redress the Qatari students who were forcibly and arbitrarily expelled under the pretext of a political dispute.