Qatar has reiterated the condemnation of the "terrorism lists" issued unilaterally by Saudi Arabia under false pretenses, saying that the practice violates international law and United Nations Charter.
This came in the statement read by Second Secretary of the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the United Nations in Geneva Abdullah al-Suwaidi during the 40th session of the Human Rights Council on item three concerned with the protection of human rights in the context of counter-terrorism.
Discussing the report of UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and counter-terrorism, Ben Emmerson, on his visit to Saudi Arabia in 2017, al-Suwaidi said that Qatar's delegation wanted to express its alarm at the loose interpretation of terrorism adopted by the country in question. (In 2017, Ben Emmerson had said in a statement marking the end of a five-day mission to Saudi Arabia, that the country must stop using counter-terrorism legislation against people peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly. Saying that Saudi laws on terrorism do not comply with international standards, he urged an end to the prosecution of people simply for expressing non-violent views.)
In this regard, al-Suwaidi said that these unilateral "terrorism lists" included charitable organisations that have co-operation agreements with the United Nations and other international organisations.
Al-Suwaidi condemned the use of these "terrorism lists" as a tool of political and economic pressure, which represents a clear violation of human rights and of the freedoms of the people mentioned in the lists.
He noted that the lists also limited the ability of those organisations, in terms of carrying out their charitable and humanitarian activities, particularly in developing countries.
He wondered how effective such unilateral "terrorism lists" could be in limiting the efforts of these organisations in protecting human rights and providing humanitarian aid.
At yesterday's session, Qatar also warned the destructive impact terrorism and violent extremism can have on human rights, democracy, and the rule of law.
Al-Suwaidi said that the two phenomena thrive in environments that do not respect human rights, which means facing them must be done within the international standards of human rights.
He stressed the important role played by civil society institutions in supporting the governments fight off terrorism and extremism.
Al-Suwaidi called on supporting civil society institutions to combat the root causes that help terrorism and violent extremism spread, with violations of human rights one of the most prominent factors, in addition to the lack of democracy, rule of law, social justice, sectarian strife, political exclusion, social marginalisation, and the lack of freedom of expression.