A delegation from Al-Ghufran tribe lodges complaint to FIFA President on Qatari regime's human rights violations. - Egypt Today A delegation from Al-Ghufran tribe lodges complaint to FIFA President on Qatari regime's human rights violations. - Egypt Today

Qatar regime built World Cup 2022 facilities on land forcibly taken away: Al-Ghufran tells FIFA

Mon, Sep. 24, 2018
ZURICH – 24 September 2018: A delegation from Al-Ghufran tribe lodged a complaint Monday to the President of the International Football Federation (FIFA) in Zurich against the practices of the Qatari regime against their tribe, demanding Qatar be stripped of the 2022 World Cup.

The tribe’s demands come after the Qatari regime committed serious human rights violations against them and built the facilities for the World Cup on land that was forcibly taken away from the tribe.

In their hand-delivered letter, Al-Ghufran tribe revealed that the violations by the Qatari regime did not stop at the illegitimately revoking the citizenship of 6,000 citizens with no legal basis, it also included taking away the tribe’s land by force and exploiting it for the purposes of building the facilities of the 2022 World Cup.

“This is a sensitive tournament [World Cup] followed by considerable gathering of people who come together for the love of the game, honest competition, brotherhood and love and respect among nations; how will Qatar play the role of supplying this when it is so unfair to its own children [citizens],” Al-Ghufran added.

“This is a country that harms its own citizens and strips them of their rights and then talks about freedom and democracy. The FIFA system states that country where the World Cup is held must respect and preserve human rights, as per the policies of the UN Human Rights Council. The FIFA is fully committed to organizing its activities based on respecting the human rights at an international level and the UN’s standards for workers.

Al-Ghufran revealed that more than a few lands on which the state built sports facilities for the tournament were taken away by force from the tribe, and that the establishments were built illegally and illegitimately after the owners were kicked off the land and had their citizenship stripped.

“The state resorted to every illegitimate method in dealing with Al-Ghufran tribe from deprivation to expulxion from the country to the withdrawal of their official documents to denial of education and healthcare,” added Al-Ghufran.

The complaint also referred to other practices and serious violations committed against workers working on the construction of sports facilities.

The sons of Al-Ghufran tribe demanded that FIFA reject the establishment of the World Cup in Qatar 2022 unless the Government of Qatar restores the Qatari nationality to all those affected from the tribe and returning their land, which were forcibly robbed, to them. The land now has various facilities built on them including stadiums, other sports facilities, hotels, health centers, hospitals, public transport, among other things. The tribe members also demands compensation using their land.

Al-Ghufran tribe also said that if the Qatari regime was to refuse, the FIFA should refuse to play matches or benefit from such facilities like honourable countries that respect human rights refrain from importing commodities and agricultural products from Israeli agricultural lands built on occupied Palestinian lands; otherwise, they said, the FIFA would become part of the regime’s violations.

They also called on FIFA to force Qatar to employ qualified Al-Ghufran tribe members in projects built on their land and to give them a share of the proceeds of the tournament, if they accepted financial settlements to exploit their land.

If the Qatari regime rejects the demands, the moral and humane action for the FIFA would be to strip Qatar from the tournament to refrain from becoming party to the “humanitarian and moral crimes” committed by the Qatari regime.

This is the letter, as acquired by Egypt Today:

A collective complaint to the President of the International Football Federation against the practices of Qatar

Regarding: Human rights violations by the state of Qatar, including stripping some 6,000 citizens from their nationality without legitimate cause.

Submitted by: The sons of the Al-Ghufran tribe, who have been, illegally and illegitimately, stripped of their Qatari nationality

Our suffering at the hands of the Qatari government started in 1996 when they issued an inhumane and immoral decision oto drop the nationality of about 6,000 individuals from our tribe without a fair allegation or legitimate investigation or rule of law; instead, it was decided via one decision that did not rely on laws. These individuals mow live displaced between a number of countries, without a nationality; some of them went to neighboring states and some of them stayed within Qatar, marginalized and without rights, identity or work, living without any of the rights that were mentioned in treaties and conventions, like access to education, healthcare or the right t own property. In fact, they have had a significant number of land plots taken away from them, many of which were used by the Qatar regime for building sports facilities to serve the 2022 World Cup.

Your Excellency the President of the International Federation of Football, you are well aware of the continuation of the state of Qatar in this injustice towards its own people and stripping them of their nationality and right to own property. Meanwhile, this is a sensitive tournament [World Cup] followed by considerable gathering of people who come together for the love of the game, honest competition, brotherhood and love and respect among nations; how will Qatar play the role of supplying this when it is so unfair to its own children [citizens]. This is a country that harms its own citizens and strips them of their rights and then talks about freedom and democracy. The FIFA system states that country where the World Cup is held must respect and preserve human rights, as per the policies of the UN Human Rights Council. The FIFA is fully committed to organizing its activities based on respecting the human rights at an international level and the UN’s standards for workers.

We would like to let you know that more than a few lands on which the state built sports facilities for the tournament were taken away by force from the tribe, and that the establishments were built illegally and illegitimately after the owners were kicked off the land and had their citizenship stripped.

The state resorted to every illegitimate method in dealing with Al-Ghufran tribe from deprivation to expulxion from the country to the withdrawal of their official documents to denial of education and healthcare.

Not to mention the other practices and serious violations committed against the workers who are keen to ensure the completion of sports facilities; without you redirect intervention to protect said workers, they would be in great risk. All this confirms that the State of Qatar is pursuing policies that have nothing to do with human rights, and at the same time it praises human rights day and night and claims to be the guardian of freedoms in the region.

And for all the above … and for many reasons that you see … and because your organization was established and founded with the view of protecting rights before sponsoring games, we demand the following:

1- We call on FIFA to strip Qatar of the 2022 World Cup unless it listens to the demands of Al-Ghufran tribe, or else FIFA would be jointly responsible for the actions of Qatar against Al-Ghufran tribe.

2- Restoring Qatari citizenship to all Al-Ghufran tribe members who have faced the injustice of having their citizenship stripped away.

3- Returning the land, which were forcibly robbed, to those who actually own it. The land now has various facilities built on them including stadiums, other sports facilities, hotels, health centers, hospitals, public transport, among other things. The tribe members also demands compensation using their land.

4- If the Qatari regime was to refuse, the FIFA should refuse to play matches or benefit from such facilities like honourable countries that respect human rights refrain from importing commodities and agricultural products from Israeli agricultural lands built on occupied Palestinian lands; otherwise, they said, the FIFA would become part of the regime’s violations.

5- The FIFA should force Qatar to employ qualified Al-Ghufran tribe members in projects built on their land and to give them a share of the proceeds of the tournament, if they accepted financial settlements to exploit their land.

6- Allowing the Al-Ghufran tribe to present its humanitarian case before FIFA officials.

If these demands are not met, the moral and humane action for the FIFA would be to strip Qatar from the tournament to refrain from becoming party to the humanitarian and moral crimes committed by the Qatari regime.

Sincerely yours,
Al-Ghufran delegation
With no nationality and away from their home, Qatar

Al-Ghufran’s call to FIFA comes as part of a wider move by the tribe to recover its rights on the margins of the UN Human Rights Council.

On September 17, delegation had met with Chief of Middle East and North Africa Section. UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights Mohammad Al-Nsour, when the latter received a letter from the tribe summing up the violations that they have faced since 1996.

The letter asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations.

The letter also revealed that the authorities are well aware of the violations occurring, “We assure you that the Qatari authorities, ranging from the Emir of Qatar, the Prime Minister, the Attorney General, the President of the National Committee for Human Rights, senior security officials and dignitaries, are aware of the discrimination members of Al Ghofran clan are subjected to and those senior officials are deeply involved in this crime,” the delegation stated, continuing, “Qatar officials are working to hide his crime from the eyes of international justice and human rights organizations, and the deliberately intimidate those trying from within Qatar to raise complaints to International bodies and human rights organizations.”

Fearing for their lives and their ability to voice their opinions or “demand their rights through the National Human Rights Committee in Doha” due to security personnel traching and monitoring their actions, which they say they have evidence off, the delegation spoke of the evidence they have of Qatari authorities treating their people with the utmost levels of brutality and monstrosity.

As part of their on-going efforts to restore their legitimate rights, on September 21, during a seminar titled ‘Human Rights in Qatar’, the delegation also called on Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) to take serious steps in addressing and documenting the human rights violations that were committed against the tribe, and to present them in front of the international community to hold Qatar accountable.

The delegation explained that they only resorted to international organizations after years of being ignored and omitted by their government, the government of Qatar, and after they realized that the Qatari Human Rights Council is in cahoots with the regime.

During said seminar, Gaber Saleh Al-Ghufrani, a member of the Al-Ghufran tribe, called on the people of Qatar, for support said, “We call on the elders of the honourable Al-Thani family and to the generous and righteous people of Qatar and to the Al Murrah tribe, known for their nobility and chivalry. We call on you as your brothers, young and old, elders and children, men and women, inside and outside Qatar, and we appeal to your proud Arab origin after the Qatari government has let us down and accused us of untrue claims and stropped us of our rights.”

He went on to plead his and his tribe’s case to the people of Qatar, “We have been subjected to much injustice and humiliation in our homeland from those who, unfortunately, we thought to be virtuous. We have been discriminated against in the most painful of ways, ones that would shock human consciousness; they have stripped us of our dignity, in way that you know and others that you do not know.”

Adding, “We did not choose to go to the United Nations and to the international human rights organizations except after the government of our country closed all ways of appeal and did not engage or listen to our demands that we had submitted to the relevant authorities such as the Ministry of the Interior and the National Human Rights Commission of Qatar.”

Along the same lines, Mohamed Saleh Al-Ghofzani called on the National Committee for Human Rights in Qatar to stop turning a blind eye to the regime's violations of the right of Al-Ghufran tribe and to document and declare said violations; which he describes to be, violations of all basic international norms, conventions and treaties.

Similarly, Hamad Khaled Al-Ghufrani explained that although the Qatari law states that indigenous people who have settled in Qatar since 1940 cannot have their nationality stripped—a law that applies to them, they have had their nationality stripped, faced forced displacement and have had the most basic services taken away from them: Education, healthcare and other public services.

“Even those who suffer from chronic illnesses of other illnesses, including my son who suffers from autism, were left untreated by Qatar, “ Al Ghufrani stated.

The OHCHR, which implements the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, “carries out a range of country specific and regional activities to advance the rights of indigenous peoples. It provides support for legislative initiatives and pursues thematic work on issues such as extractive industries and on the rights of isolated indigenous peoples,” as per the OHCHR’s website.

“In addition, the Office assists the Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, and provides secretariat support to the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, including the organisation of its annual sessions.”

Exhibiting their case to the world

On September 19, Al-Ghufran, staged a sit- in front of the Broken Chair, which stands across the United Nations Palace in Geneva, to denounce the crimes of the Qatari regime who has revoked their nationality, displaced and tortured members of the tribe.

The tribe called on the international community to take a decisive stand on the Tamim regime, whom, they claim, have violated a number of international conventions and treaties through its racist policy against the Al-Ghufran tribe.

Created by Daniel Berset, the Broken Chair simpolises the struggeles of mine victims.

The delegation also held a protest on September 18, to urge the United Nations to investigate the Qatar regimes’ crimes against humanity, including stripping them of Qatari nationality

“Our issue with the Qatar regime is purely humanitarian and not political, this is why we came here to present our case and our demands to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Our demands are clear: The Qatar regime should be held accountale for the crimes that it has committed against us and other Qataris, and the restoration of our rights,” Hamad Khaled Al-Marri, a member of the tribe, who took part in the stand, stated.

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Qatari tribe Al-Ghufran declared that 6,000 of its members were forcibly displaced after the Qatari regime deprived them of their Qatari nationality and their national rights. - Egypt Today

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The tribe representatives had previously submitted a complaint to the Commissioner on September 21, 2017 - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today


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Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

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A delegation representing Al-Ghufran tribe, one of the biggest tribes in Qatar, handed a letter to the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, discussing their deteriorating situation. - Egypt Today

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Members of the delegation in Geneva - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran Tribe delegation submits petition on Qatari human rights violation to UNHRC - Egypt Today

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The tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today

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Al-Ghufran tribe asked the UN office to stop Qatari authorities’ continuous, systematic discrimination against them, and to protect the tribe’s members, restore their lost rights and to punish the Qatari regime for human rights violations. - Egypt Today
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