Former Emir of the State of Qatar Hamad bin Sheikh Khalifa Al Thani in the Polish Senate in 2011
CAIRO – 29 April 2018: Former Qatari officer Rashid bin Mohamed Al-Zafarani said that Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, and Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber witnessed the torture of detainees following the attempted coup against the Qatari regime in 1996.
Former Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, former Prime Minister Hamad bin Jassim, and Abdullah bin Khalid, minister of endowments and Islamic affairs at the time, personally followed up on the torture of detainees and used distasteful words against them,” Zafarani said in an interview with Sky News.
The detainees were subjected “to all forms of torture,” Zafarani said, adding that “the torture and forced displacement had been the tool the [regime] of Qatar [used] against opposition,” Zafarani stated.
In 1995, Hamad bin Khalifa seized power from his father, Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad, reportedly with no bloodshed. The 1996 attempted coup was conducted by a number of Sheikh Khalifa supporters including army officers. Following the failure of the coup, 118 suspects were arrested.
In 2001, 19 defendants were sentenced to death, including Hamad Bin Jasim Bin Hamad Al-Thani, the coup leader and the Emir's cousin, according to Qatar News Agency (QNA).
In 2010, a number of 21 defendants involved in the coup were pardoned following a request by late King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia.
Concerning Al-Ghofran tribe’s case, Zafarani said that the members of the tribe were chased by the regime “even in their worship places,” adding that they were arrested in the presence of their families.
Members of the Ghofran tribe lodged, last December, a complaint to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva against the Qatari regime for ordering the withdrawal of 6,000 tribe members including women and children in 2005, according to the complaint, and deporting a number of tribe members to neighboring countries.
The complaint said that the Qatari authorities arrested a number of Al-Ghofran tribe members in 1996, adding that the way they have been tortured led in some cases to serious complications including psychological disorder and memory loss.
On June 5, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain severed diplomatic ties with Qatar over accusations of sponsoring terrorist groups; an accusation which Qatar denies. “They still have a way to go, but they cannot fix their problem unless they acknowledge that they have a problem,” Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister said.