The recent decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to reject the complaint filed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has once again proved the rightful position of Qatar, the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) has said.
On Friday, the ICJ rejected a complaint filed by the UAE concerning interim measures against Qatar in the case of discriminatory measures under the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination.
The court declined the UAE’s demand that Qatar be bound by a number of measures, including the immediate withdrawal of its complaint against the UAE to the UN Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, the prohibition of its national organisations and the media from publishing accusations against them in cases before the ICJ and other steps.
The UAE’s actions have been widely condemned by numerous independent human rights organisations, including Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reporters Without Borders.
In a statement, the rights body said it considered the new verdict an essential step in addition to the court’s first decision of July 23, 2018 to redress victims as another proof of the soundness of the legal moves initiated by Qatar. It said recourse to all international means and mechanisms was not an escalation, but a legitimate right - guaranteed by international conventions to achieve justice, fairness and compensation to victims.
In the provisional verdict issued on July 23 last year, the ICJ called for reunion of Qatari-UAE mixed families and providing opportunity for Qatari students to complete their studies and giving Qataris access to judicial services in the UAE.
The case related to UAE’s unlawful and discriminatory treatment of Qatari citizens following the unjust blockade imposed on Qatar on June 5,2017.
The measures included the forced expulsion of all Qatari nationals from the UAE within two weeks, banning them from entering or passing through its territories and closing UAE airspace and seaports to Qatar.
In its complaint, Qatar had said that the UAE deprived Qatari companies and individuals of their property and deposits, and rejected their basic access to education, treatment and courts in the UAE. Through the ICJ, Qatar demanded that the UAE return all the rights to Qataris and compensate them for the damages.
The verdict of July 23 last year was pronounced after Qatar filed an application instituting proceedings under CERD before the ICJ on June 11, 2018. The same day, it also requested the court, as a matter of urgency, to order provisional measures protecting the Qatari people from discrimination while proceedings are ongoing.
In granting Qatar’s request for provisional measures, the court noted that Qatar has offered to negotiate with the UAE on the implementation of the CERD, but Abu Dhabi has not responded.
The ICJ found that the measures enacted by the UAE authorities on June 11, 2017 were intended only for Qatar nationals, which amount to racial discrimination.
The case under CERD represents one aspect of a larger dispute that began on June 5, 2017 when the UAE, along with Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Egypt, imposed an unlawful land, sea and air siege against Qatar and its people as part of a campaign of political and economic coercion.
The NHRC stressed that this important decision of the world court also refuted the UAE’s allegations against Qatar’s rights body and repudiated attempts to question its credibility through UAE officials. The UAE’s policy of covering up its crimes and violations committed against the people of Qatar and the Gulf peoples will not work and will not prevent international condemnation and accountability, the NHRC statement said.
Also, the NHRC congratulated the victims of the blockade and human rights organisations for the second victory in the judicial process launched by Qatar “to end all kinds of violations resulting from the blockade and to redress those affected.”
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