Westbay Doha Qatar - CC via Pixabay Westbay Doha Qatar - CC via Pixabay

Who are Qatar's main opposition leaders?

Sat, Jun. 10, 2017
CAIRO – 10 June 2017: The recurrent terrorism-supportive acts conducted by the Qatari regime, currently led by Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, has sparked dissent among other ruling family members who oppose the Qatari Emir. There have also been regular citizens who opposed the Qatari regime for years and who fled the country to escape from the regimes’ crackdown.

Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al-Thani

In the wake of the crisis between Qatar and other Arab countries in late May following the offensive statements made by Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani after the conclusion of the American-Islamic summit on May 21, Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al-Thani publicly expressed his dismay of the action.

He addressed the Qatari Emir on Twitter saying, “We hoped that foreign policy would change and our hopes were disappointed after you joined forces with Iran against your brothers and set up terrorist groups and published electronic battalions to beat your opponents. Sheikh Tamim, Qatar has become a source of financing terrorism and an export port of extremist thought. "

Al-Thani, who apologized to Egypt, Yemen and the Gulf states, stated that he would mediate in hopes that Qatar would suspend ties with Iran, as well as all support to terrorist operations in Libya, Egypt, North Africa and Sudan. He added that he would intervene for the expulsion of extremist elements from Qatar. He also called for the suspension of the executive office of the first lady of Qatar, Sheikha Mozah Al-Misnad, the Qatari emir’s mother.

Al-Thani also declared that he would form a political party to be located in London as the country bans political parties and has no electoral system.

Al-Thani, a member of the ruling family, has been the CEO of the Qatari telecommunications company Ooredoo since 2015. He has also been a member on the boards of Arabsat, Hellas-sat, and INZA Qatar. Al-Thani holds a Bachelor’s Degree in public administration from Western International University in Phoenix, Arizona and a Bachelor’s Degree in business administration.

Khalid Al-Hail

Khalid Al-Hail is a businessman based in London and the leader of Qatari opposition in exile. In 2010, he contributed in forming the Qatari Youth Rescue Movement comprised of opponents residing in Qatar and abroad.

Al-Hail was imprisoned by the Qatari regime in 2010 and 2014 and was tortured and electrocuted, according to the New York Times.

In 2015, Al-Hail told former Al-Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy, who published statements in the New York Times, that the Qatari opposition does not want to abolish the monarchy in Qatar but they aspire to turn it into a constitutional monarchy allowing more room for democracy. Al-Hail added that Qatar could back off supporting terrorist groups.

Al-Hail said in an interview with Egypt Today published on June 6 that the opposition may take the current regime to foreign courts. Al-Hail said, “the current Qatari state has lost its legitimacy and there has to be a third party who is approved by the other countries.” He asserted that a replacement is needed to negotiate with Arab countries’ blockade removal.

Recent Opposition Movement in Geneva

Movements by ruling family members have been taking place since the outbreak of the crisis. In the Swiss city of Geneva, an opposition coalition was created to form national salvation government.

The coalition is comprised of leaders from the ruling family who declare that they are the legitimate rulers. The coalition is headed by Sheikh Abdul Aziz Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Qatari emir’s uncle, who is currently residing in Geneva.

Sheikha Nour bint Ahmed Al-Thani stated to Egypt Today on June 6 that she would present a memorandum to the General Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) on the crimes that were committed by Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah, Hamad bin Khalifa bin Hamad bin Abdullah and Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr bin Mohammed. The crimes fall under the jurisdiction of the Court in support of Article 5 of the primary law of the ICC for 1998.

On her official Twitter account, the Secretary-general Sheikha Nouf bint Ahmed Al-Thani of the coalition published a statement on Saturday calling for the ouster of Al-Thani due to the deterioration of the situation, as Egypt Today reported.

She also demanded the intervention of the international community represented in the United Nations and the Arab League to topple the Qatari Emir and prosecute him.

The statement contains the signatories’ objection over the “infiltration” of the Turkish army and Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, describing such decisions by the Qatari emir as acts of treason.
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