Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamam bin Hamad – File photo
CAIRO – 17 October 2017: Turning a blind eye to human rights violation carried out by the Qatari government, the United Nations General Assembly re-elected Qatar to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) for a fourth round of 3-year term for 2018-2020 during its 72nd session held on Monday.
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.
Sheikh Abdullah bin Ali is the second son of the late Emir Ali bin Abdullah Al-Thani, the grandson of the Emir of Qatar, Abdullah bin Jassim Al-Thani, and the brother of Sheikh Ahmed bin Ali Al-Thani, who was overthrown by his cousin Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al-Thani, grandfather of Prince Tamim bin Hamad on February 22, 1972.
In August, Sheikh Abdullah met Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to mediate on reopening a land border to allow Qatari pilgrims to perform the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. A move that made Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim feels his reign is in danger. It was the first public high-level encounter between the two nations since the diplomatic crisis erupted.
The other opposition figure is Sheikh Sultan bin Suhaim Al-Thani who slammed Tamim bin Hamad’s 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.
Qatar’s relations with several Arab states have been strained since May 24 over a leaked statement attributed to Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad, criticizing Gulf foreign policy with Iran, describing it as “unwise.”
On 5 June, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E and Bahrain cut diplomatic ties with Qatar and imposed economic sanctions, accusing it of funding terrorism, a claim Qatar rejects. They also closed their airspace and seaports for Qatari transportation.
The Arab quartet issued 13 demands to Doha, then shortened to six principles, including closing Al Jazeera television, curbing relations with Iran and shutting a Turkish military base.