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Gulf Nations Ignore NHRC’s Plea To Ease Humanitarian Impact Of Blockade On Qatari And Other Citizens

Photo Credit: The Peninsula

Ali bin Sumaikh Al Marri, the head of Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee (NHRC) said that his efforts to ease the humanitarian impact of the blockade on Qatari and other citizens has been ignored by human rights groups in neighbouring states.

The letters were sent to Saudi Arabia, UAE and Bahrain asking to spare Gulf citizens the humanitarian, social and economic consequences of the dispute.

“We either got no response or have been attacked by our colleagues working on human-rights issues in the blockading nations,” he said. He said  the human-rights sections in the Arab League, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Arab Parliament and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have ignored his plea.

He also revealed that Saudi government was obstructing Qatari citizens who wished to perform the annual Haj pilgrimage this year. “The Saudi government is inciting its citizens against Qataris. The government of Saudi Arabia should have a clear and open stance with regards to permitting Qataris to perform the Haj in Mecca this year without any hindrance,” he said.

The Saudi led bloc severed ties with Qatar in June after accusing it of backing terrorism. Ali bin Sumaikh also stressed on his international efforts to explain the humanitarian impact of the blockade to various UN, European and American parliamentarian and human rights groups. “There was great interest and positive responses in the Western capitals we visited,” he said.

He said there will be legal actions on behalf of citizens against the blockading countries. The NHRC estimated that 8,254 Saudi, 784 Emirati, and 2,349 Bahraini citizens lived in Qatar.

While Qataris who lived in the boycotting countries were forced to quit their job, Saudi, Emirati or Bahraini citizens in Qatar were allowed to lead a normal life without any disturbance.

Ali bin Sumaikh Al Marri has asked the government to compensate for Qatari citizens who have paid a high social and economic cost due to the crisis.

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