Qatar’s human rights violations against citizens, expatriates uncovered

Human Rights

Manama, Qatar’s gross human rights violations against its citizens and expatriate workers have been exposed during a TV programme aired by Bahrain TV recently.


Speaking to the Bahrain TV’s “Special Programme”, Second Deputy Chairperson of the Shura Council, Jameela Salman, said that the human rights issue in Qatar is characterised by inhumanity, noting that Qatar tends to hide behind human rights organisations that it has established and financed in order to cover up its miserable human rights situation.


She added that Doha has paid huge bribes and sums in the form of donations to foreign institutions in order to whitewash its human rights image, noting that it tends to attack countries by making allegations of human rights in them in an attempt to distract international public opinion from its violations in the human rights field.


Salman stressed that reports of human rights organisations and the US State Department prove that the human rights violations in Qatar have become horrific at all levels, and have been exposed to the world, despite Doha’s attempts to show off its fictitious achievements in this field by issuing laws or regulations or creating bogus institutions, without a real application of the values of protecting and promoting human rights.


She pointed to the violations that Qatari citizens are subjected to, whether in terms of freedom of opinion, the freedom to practice religious beliefs or women’s rights, as well as the violations against Qatari tribes, such as Al-Ghufran and Al-Murra, including the revocation of citizenship, confiscation of property and their deprivation of the most basic human rights such as the right to health, in addition to the grave human rights violations that foreign workers in Qatar are subjected to.


The Shura Council’s Second Deputy Chairperson also touched on Qatar’s sponsorship and financing of terrorism, being one of the biggest violations of human rights as it poses a threat to international peace, because terrorism results in depriving people of the rights of security and life, which are among the rights stipulated in human rights documents.


Regarding women, Salman asserted that contrary to Doha’s claims, Qatari women are not empowered, and do not enjoy their full rights, as they suffer from inequality and the absence of social justice, and are treated as not fully-competent citizens in legislation and daily practices.


In this context, she cited the remarks of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention during their visit to Qatar and the reports of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, which indicated that Qatari women under the age of 25 cannot exercise their civil rights, such as signing contracts, leaving the homes of their relatives, or traveling outside the country without the consent of their male guardians. Added to this, Qatari women cannot obtain driving licenses or join a government job without the consent of male guardians, which confirms that Qatari women are subject to guardianship in their most basic rights.


The situation of foreign workers, who account for 95% of the workforce in Qatar, is no better, she said, noting that they have been subjected to a large number of grave human rights violations and have fallen victims to the Qatari labour system, which is characterised by exploitation. In this regard, she cited the international reports that have exposed the massive violations suffered by foreign workers participating in building the facilities related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.


She pointed out that the practices monitored by international reports have uncovered Qatar’s hidden human rights violations and drawn the attention of international organisations and the world to the inhuman reality of Qatar and the human rights violations taking place there at all levels.


In this context, she referred to Amnesty International’s report, which monitored the death of about 6,599 foreign workers from five Asian countries since the beginning of Qatar’s preparations to host the 2022 World Cup, noting that although Amnesty International called for an independent investigation into the causes of these deaths, no results have been announced, the families of the victims have not been compensated and those responsible for their deaths have not been held accountable so far.


She also said that foreign workers suffer from other forms of human rights violations that bear the hallmarks of “racial discrimination” against them, as they are unable to obtain justice, suffer from poor living conditions because of the suspension of their wages and the difficult situation they have gone through during the pandemic.


President of the Egyptian Organisation for Human Rights (EOHR), Essam Shiha, affirmed that Qatar claims that it is an advocate of human rights in the world, while many violations are taking place against its citizens, residents and minorities, which clearly shows the double standards in the Qatari human rights system and the international human rights organisations’ double handling of the issue of human rights in Qatar.


He added that while Qatar has bored the world with claims about its respect for human rights, it is one of the first countries to violate these rights by exerting pressure on its citizens and residents, disregarding the system of universal human rights values and principles, and exercising coercion in the face of its own citizens and foreign workers.


He added that Qatar’s human rights violations against foreign workers, especially during the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and the preparations for the World Cup 2020, have been strongly criticised by Amnesty International and some American organisations.


He stressed that Qatar has been exercising such violations for a long time, but exerts pressure on its affiliate and funded orgsanisations to try to change the mental image of the Qatari citizens and the public opinion about its practices.


He indicated that the violations also cover the rights of Qatari women, members of the ruling family and all the citizens, noting that a penalty of up to five years in prison is handed down to whoever contacts foreign media outlets or organisations to talk about its domestic situation, which contravenes all international treaties.


He also highlighted Qatar’s unjustified mistreatment of the Al-Ghufran tribe, noting that the majority of its members have been deported, while the remaining ones have been either prevented from owning property, jailed or prevented from returning, which confirms Doha’s black human rights record.


He added that the international public opinion has been following Qatar’s violations of the freedom of belief and religious freedom, through its practices against its Baha’i citizens who have been forced to leave the country or not to mention their religion, and backing of the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood organisation.


He also highlighted Doha’s failure to implement 296 human rights recommendations made by more than 100 countries during the 2019 human rights review.


Source: Bahrain News Agency