United Nations' Human Rights logo - Courtesy to the UNHR official page United Nations' Human Rights logo - Courtesy to the UNHR official page

Widespread criticism of Qatar’s UNHCR reelection

Tue, Oct. 17, 2017
CAIRO – 17 October 2017: Human rights groups in Egypt and abroad have sharply condemned Monday’s election of 15 new members for the United Nations Human Rights Council, as Qatar was re-elected with 155 votes to be a member in the body despite accusations of serious rights abuses.

The Liberal Democracy Institute of Egypt (LDI) said in a Tuesday statement that the United Nations General Assembly turned a blind eye to human rights' violations carried out by the Qatari government, adding that instead of launching investigations, the UN is rewarding Qatar by re-electing it to the UNHRC for a fourth round of a three-year term from 2018-2020, during its 72nd session held on Monday.

Head of the LDI Dalia Ziada accused Tom Lantos, Human Rights Commission in the US Congress, of depending on testimonies only from representatives from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Ziada says receive bribes from Qatar. She alleged that the commission neglected to address the Qatari opposition who are suffering crackdown.

Qatar’s suppression techniques against the opposition ranges from revoking citizenships to freezing bank accounts, in an attempt to contain the opposition’s impact internally and prevent more from coming forth.

Meanwhile, U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley called the election "yet another example of why the Human Rights Council lacks credibility and must be reformed in order to be saved."

For her part, Hillel Neuer, executive director of UN Watch, a Geneva-based rights group, singled out three of the winners — Congo, Qatar and Pakistan — for criticism, saying for the U.N. to elect them "as a world judge on human rights is like making a pyromaniac into the town fire chief."

Qatar’s human rights violations are reported as: supporting terrorism, quelling opposition and repressing calls for policy changes, imposing constrains on freedom of expression and journalism and being unfair towards foreign workers.

Qatar has reportedly frozen all assets belonging to two of the most prominent ruling family members, Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani and Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali Al-Thani, as punishment for their opposition to the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, on the background of the ongoing Gulf crisis involving Doha.

Another opposition figure, Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani slammed the Qatari regime in a speech he gave in September from the French capital of Paris over the current diplomatic crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors. As a result, Qatari authorities stormed on Thursday Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani’s palace in Doha and seized all his assets in the emirate.
 
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