The Arab Federation for Human Rights held a seminar on “Human Rights in the Gulf Region: Achievements and Failures” at the UN Human Rights Council premises in Geneva, Switzerland on January 19th, 2018.
The General Coordinator of the Arab Federation for Human Rights, Mr. Sarhan Al-Tahir Saadi, presented the positive aspects of the reforms undertaken by some Gulf countries, particularly the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, and the impact on the human rights situation and its improvements.
He praised the Saudi leadership for the huge steps taken within a short time in the areas of transparency and the freedom of women to drive. This was achieved in accordance with a clear vision and a planned approach towards the advancement of the Kingdom and its determination to move forward on the path of evolution and modernization.
On the other hand, the General Coordinator of the Federation highlighted the great decline in freedoms, the widespread of the phenomenon of withdrawing the citizenship of nationals and forced displacement practiced by the Qatari government. This illustrates Doha’s support for extremism, terrorism and unrest in many countries in the region, as well as providing finance by way of money through ransom and the use of media as a means to support terrorist groups in different parts of the world. Thus, striking examples and facts are such as follows:
- Houthis militias in Yemen.
- The popular ISIL in Iraq.
- Lebanese Hezbollah through its alliance with Iran to destabilize and secure the Gulf region in support of saboteurs and terrorists in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the name of democracy, which has no effect in Qatar.
- Terrorist groups in Libya.
Also, human rights organizations expressed their concern over Qatar’s prominent role, allied to Turkey, in the full and unlimited support of the Muslim Brotherhood group, which is listed on the terrorist lists of many countries. This support is mainly aimed at destabilizing the Arab Republic of Egypt and the West, with the confirmation of these terrorist groups’ access to finance, weapons and intellectual theory of individuals and associations with close ties to Qatar.
Dr. Hafez Abu Saada, Head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights, focused on the situation of migrant workers in the Gulf and the importance of developing protection mechanisms. He referred to the experience of the United Arab Emirates in issuing the anti-discrimination law. He also discussed the clear development of women’s rights and pointed to the progress by the UAE and positive signs in Saudi Arabia.
The seminar concluded with the recommendations of the Arab Federation for Human Rights of the countries of the region to encourage them to move ahead with the reforms and their approval. Interferes and representatives of other human rights organizations also appealed to the international community to curb Iranian interference in the region, pressure the Qatari government to stop harassing opponents and re-turn the citizenship of the tribe of “forgiveness” and “Bani Marra”. They also called on the Human Rights Council to open the human rights abuse investigation file in Qatar in a more serious manner and listen to the victims of oppression in Qatar.
Arab Federation for Human Rights
Geneva, January 19th, 2018