Geneva-The Arab Federation for Human Rights(AFHR) has asked the United Nations Human Rights Council to intervene in the unraveling issue of the al-Ghufran branch of Al-Murrah tribe in Qatar and stop the “crimes against humanity” against the members of the tribe.
Members of al-Ghufran branch of the Al-Murrah family accused Qatari authorities of launching “a systematic repression and injustice campaign” against their tribe, according to a report by the Arab Federation for Human Rights.
Speakers at a Geneva seminar rejected Qatar’s arbitrary act of revoking the citizenship of Sheikh Taleb bin Lahom bin Shreim and 54 members of his family belonging to the Al-Murrah tribe.
The seminar, organized by the AFHR on the sidelines of the 36th Session of the Human Rights Council, considered the Qatari act as a kind of ‘systematic revenge’ against the family for exercising their natural rights to freedom of movement and freedom of expression.
It was for the second time in a couple of days the UNHRC session was overshadowed by the arbitrary Qatari act against a group of its citizens from Al-Ghufran clan of Al-Murrah tribe.
The participants noted that Doha’s arbitrary measures should be considered as a collective punishment, indicating that the revocation of the nationality of 55 members of the clan is clearly an arbitrary act by the government in violation of the principles of human rights and in direct violation of the provisions of the international laws governing the granting and withdrawal of nationality in accordance with certain mechanisms and controls.
“It is also to be noted that the decision of the Qatari government was sudden and without any reason or legal justification, and it was not based on any judicial decisions or fair trials,” they pointed out.
The human rights activists, who participated in the seminar, expressed their deep concern over the consequences of the measures taken by the Qatari authorities against a number of Al-Murrah members and the consequent displacement and deprivation of their basic rights and freedoms in areas of health, education, housing, work, mobility, and expression besides other rights and freedoms that are enshrined in the international conventions and pacts, ratified by the government of Qatar and pledged to make available for its citizens.
The participants noted that international human rights law recognizes the right of states to decide who are their nationals but at the same time emphasizes that this right is not an absolute one.
“All governments should comply with their human rights obligations with respect to granting and stripping of citizenship and prevent arbitrary deprivation of nationality because it effectively increases the woes of the affected persons and their vulnerability to human rights violations besides threatening their lives and the future of their children.”
The AFHR delegates called on the international community to investigate Qatar’s violations against Sheik Taleb and his family.
They appealed to all human rights organizations inside and outside Qatar to play their role in this regard, monitor such violations, and stand by the victims.
The Federation also stressed that silence on this blatant abuse, gross violation and collective punishment of innocent people —for no fault of theirs but only because of the punishment meted out by the Qatari authorities — is in violation of the credibility of human rights and their universal values.
“All those concerned inside and outside Qatar, especially Qatar’s National Human Rights Committee, will be responsible for what was exposed from danger by this tribe and its members.
The committee has not observed this violation and has recently implemented Qatar’s unfair policy with discarding its duty of defending human rights principles”.