HE the Chairman of the National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) Dr Ali bin Samikh al-Marri has revealed that representatives of families of arbitrarily detained Qatari nationals and victims of enforced disappearance in Saudi Arabia will present live testimonies of the victims’ suffering before the European Parliament, United Nations Human Rights Council and relevant international bodies soon.
The NHRC chairman pointed out that NHRC will submit comprehensive and documented files to the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) and the UN Working Groups on Arbitrary Detention and Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances on the continuation of the Saudi violations that affected a few Qatari citizens who were allowed to enter Saudi Arabia with security clearances before being arbitrarily detained.
He pointed out that both UN Working Groups addressed an official letter to Saudi Arabia due to its continued arbitrary arrests and enforced disappearance of Qatari citizens.
This came during a meeting of NHRC chairman with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention during his current visit to Geneva.
During the meeting, Dr al-Marri gave a briefing on the latest developments in the Qatar blockade crisis and the humanitarian consequences of the continued violations by Saudi Arabia of the rights of citizens and residents of Qatar, as a result of the blockade since June 5, 2017.
He appreciated the response of the Working Groups on Arbitrary Detention and Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, as they addressed letters to Saudi Arabia, urging it to stop its violations immediately and to disclose the whereabouts of detained Qataris in Saudi Arabia and release them. He also briefed officials of the Working Groups on the health situation of some detainees arbitrarily.
The NHRC chairman issued an urgent appeal to with the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, calling for concrete and strong steps to be taken to end the continuation of Saudi violations against Qatari citizens, in light of the continued detention of Qatari nationals by the Saudi authorities, without legal justification.
Dr al-Marri added that following the release of Qatari citizens in recent months, NHRC expected that the Saudi authorities would stop their serious human rights violations, but NHRC was surprised by the continued arbitrary approach, and the detention of Qatari citizens who were victims of enforced disappearance and arbitrary detention, without any legal explanations or justification for their detention. The Saudi authorities even arrested a small number of Qatari citizens who were allowed to enter Saudi Arabia with security exceptions, before they were surprised to arrest some of them arbitrarily and without revealing their whereabouts so far, he further added.
He stressed that NHRC would continue to defend the victims of Saudi violations, adding that NHRC is in contact with Qatari families whose children have been subjected to arbitrary detention and enforced disappearance and whose fate is still unknown because the Saudi authorities continue their approach. He explained that NHRC holds them fully responsible for the safety of these Qatari citizens who are supposed to have entered Saudi territory with security clearances, including citizens with property and “Halal” in Saudi territory.
The NHRC chairman stressed that these arrests prove beyond any doubt, that the Saudi authorities continue their repressive practices against Qatari citizens, especially against the intermarriage families of citizens of the two countries, which increases the suffering of those families stranded by the Saudi violations that caused the tearing the social fabric.
He concluded that the continued violations by the Saudi authorities, including arbitrary arrests and forced detention of Qatari citizens, refute all the false reports and allegations made by Saudi officials and media and their claims that Qatari citizens are welcome in the Kingdom. He explained that these violations also prove the fears of Qatari citizens to enter Saudi Arabia, whether to perform Haj and Umrah or to visit their relatives and business practices, because the continuation of these violations send a message to Qataris and the world, that Saudi Arabia is not safe for Qatari citizens.
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